Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reflect Now, Not Later

True leaders constantly self-reflect in order to better themselves. There are people who do this earlier in their careers and some closer to retirement. When observing my own habits and why at times I can be closed-off, it stems from not wanting to accept the harsh reality of what truly happened. 

Unfortunately, the denial stages can exponentially get worse. But even when you stop the bleeding, the cut still hurts. 

Few weeks ago, the world was struck by Adelle's new song "Hello." She moves back home and reminisces on a relationship, that she walked away from. Now, years later, she's looking to re-open what was left unsaid for many years. 

How does this relate to leadership?  "Time Heals." 

Over time, we're told that it 'gets better.' In leadership, we make tough decisions that we learn how to keep from getting under our skin. Even in my short five year career span, I have developed better insight on what battles to fight and which to walk away from. 

The experiences here help us grow enough to not repeat the events, at least not drastically. Plus, as we grow older, we tend to gain humility. Our egos start to shrink and that opens the door to "the other side" to accept what we did right and more importantly what we did wrong. 

Every day, we make choices and some of those lead to regret. In a leadership role, you need to take risks in order to go far but recognize that failure could be around the corner. 

The other day I captured three scary points about being an adult and realizing how many mistakes we've made, is one that shakes me the most. I want to live life to the fullest but not at the expense of others. 

So, how can you live a life where you don't reach a point trying to call someone 1000 times to apologize? 

First, stop and ask yourself- will this matter in 1, 5 or 10 years? What will matter? 

Second, don't be a afraid to self-reflect. It is always easier to have an conversation one day or one week later, but anything more than that holds no value. 

Lastly, be emotionally intelligent. There are a lot people investing in EQ because it works. As the industry migrated from management to leadership, self and social awareness is the foundation of that transition. 

Adelle's song was a love story gone terribly wrong. Wounds that never healed and apologies never accepted. But as you create your legacy, realize, it's only a legacy if people want to remember you. 

You don't want to be washed away in the rain. 

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