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Reflecting Into Growth


The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

A coworker came up to me after a meeting this week and told me that he has been giving me hints about a project team we are working on together and that I don’t seem to have been picking up on the hints. My response was that that was a truth about me, one I have been aware of for many years. The best way to address an issue with me is to be blunt and to the point. I tend to miss hints. Heck, there are many times when I also miss the blatantly obvious still the blatant/blunt approach is still the best way to reach me.

One of my personal goals this year has been to increase my opportunities for learning particularly as they apply to my ability to lead people. I have made it a point to read more, significantly more than I have in years past. I have grown my knowledge by creating a leadership training course for up and coming leaders in my company (I believe all of my company’s leadership is in dire need of leadership development but that is a blog for another time). My leadership training course has required me to study deeply and broadly about leadership. I have enjoyed my studies, frequently achieving a state of flow, because the topic that has been a passion of mine for the past 20 years. Still, I have been dogged by the question, am I doing enough to improve my own ability to lead.

At least four times in the last week I have stumbled upon blogs, articles or into conversations touching on the concept of personal reflection to stimulate personal growth. In parallel, I began reading, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell, a book dedicated to personal growth. I think, perhaps, the universe is giving me a hint. Although, some would say, 5 hints in one week is more a blatant whack upside the head.

So, my plan going forward is to include reflection as a stimulus to personal growth along two parallel paths. One path is professional, the other personal. Quite frankly, there is an underlying current of trepidation regarding the personal path.

Professional Path
The direction of the professional path was triggered from a quote by Jim Rohn, a business philosopher.

At the end of each day, you should play back the tapes of your performance. The results should either applaud you or prod you.

~Jim Rohn

Beginning, Tuesday, 13 November 2012, I will set a 15 minute meeting with myself in my calendar to reflect on my work day, to reflect on how my actions affected the team I am leading, to try and understand my team’s progress and what I need to change about myself to be a better leader for this team.

Personal Path
I expect this to be a more difficult path for it will require me to examine myself at a fundamental level. I have been blogging now for more than a year which has helped me flesh out my thoughts. What has been missing, though, is examination of my core assets. I plan on starting this process by working through the 10 questions for personal awareness outlined in the 15 laws of growth book I am currently reading. Once I become more personally aware, I will work on other questions to help me address those areas in which I need to grow to be a more effective human being, to see where I need to grow the most to ensure my life is effectively examined and lived effectively.

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4 comments on “Reflecting Into Growth

  1. G’luck with that Dave. Sometimes self reflection only takes you so far though….

  2. Do you need to separate the personal and the professional examination? There is probably overlap between the two. If you’re having a meeting with the professional you, maybe you can have coffee with the personal you. I’m not being flippant or sarcastic about that; be nice to yourself, have a beverage during your personal reflection session, and make it a pleasant, optomistic experience.

    • Hello Mad Queen Linda (Love your name). I did consider a single reflection session. However, there are two distinct areas in which I need reflection. The work a day world where, as a Project Leader, I deal with people every day. I need to understand if my dealings are effective.

      The other is general reflection on who I am and where I want to go with the remainder of my life. I really don’t see much overlap.

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