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Leadership Thinking Time (#77)

The Confident Leader

A year after I started my leadership development firm, I spent time reflecting on the previous twelve months. The revelations were seemingly endless. Thus, every year since, I have dedicated time in January to do the same exercise. I’m offering it to you so you can collect the lessons learned and improve your leadership approach.

Control your own destiny or someone else will.
— Jack Welch (American businessman)

This Week’s Edition

Reflecting on your leadership performance may be the key to improved performance and enhanced enjoyment of the overall leadership effort.

Clarify Your Thinking

Last week, a CEO asked me how much time he should be spending thinking about his business versus just working in the business. I told him that he was describing Leadership Thinking Time – a dedicate time for leaders to reflect and focus on the business. 

Leaders who reflect on their performance are 23% more productive than those who don’t. This is an amazing statistic. In fact, most new clients of mine confess they spend little to no time reflecting because they don’t have time or a real understanding of an effective approach to reflection that generates an ROI.

Leaders want clarity about how to lead their business. They don’t want to default to the same thing they did last year which results in a feeling of a never-ending cycle which creates fatigue and some dread at the start of a new year.

Old Thinking: Here we go again. I hope this year is different than last year.

New Thinking: Last year was tough. Let me reflect on what I learned and determine what may be useful for this coming year.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

A new year is the perfect time to undertake a comprehensive reflection on your leadership of the business. Here is the exercise I have done for years. 

Step 1: Review last year month by month starting with January. Remind yourself what you did each month by writing down all notable events and activities. Jot down your performance for your key indicators: revenue, expenses, sales calls, new clients, prospect meetings, etc…

Step 2: Evaluate your leadership performance by identifying:

  • What went well? And why?

  • What did not go well? And why?

Step 3: Reflect on the key lessons you learned about your leadership, your team, your business, your clients, your market, etc… Make note of the hard-fought wisdom you earned on the battlefield of your leadership last year.

Step 4: Think about the following:

  • What do you want to do better this coming year?

  • What do you want to do differently?

  • What, if anything, might be missing in your leadership?

Step 5: Determine how to incorporate these improvements and new elements into your leadership routine on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. For example: 

This exercise takes about ninety minutes. Make your first weekly Leadership Thinking Time appointment for this week and spend that time doing this annual reflection exercise. Let me know how it goes. 


Boost Your Performance

Building on the concept of your annual reflection, you can take a similar approach each week by instituting a weekly appointment with yourself for your leadership reflection: Leadership Thinking Time.  Learn more in this week’s video.

What’s Your Opinion?

What is one thing you discovered in your review and reflection of last year? Share it with me at:

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.

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