Embrace Self-Reflection, not Self-Deflection: The Key to Leadership Evolution

Like so many of you, I live, eat, breathe, and love the journey of leadership. It's an evolution, a transformation, a metamorphosis. The key to staying in constant growth is self-awareness. Self-awareness is getting to know yourself from the inside out. Self-awareness is also the cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and a critical factor in leading and working with others.

Self-reflection develops self-awareness. This is gained through spending time in books and with those who know us and have the ability to help us self-analyze. As Charlie "Tremendous" Jones said, "You'll be the same person five years from now that you are today except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.”

Books and people give us feedback. Feedback is the lifeblood that flows through our veins. Without it, we die. If we don't get enough, we become anemic. Yet, to truly self-reflect, we must be honest with ourselves first. We have to own our actions or our inactions. If we don't embrace self-reflection, as hard as it is, we revert to self-deflection, a disorder that will lead to the leader’s demise.

Self-reflection, often neglected in the aftermath of mistakes or crises, is not a luxury, but a necessity. It's in these moments of adversity that self-reflection becomes essential. By examining what went wrong, identifying contributing factors, and learning from the experience, leaders can not only mitigate the immediate impact of the mistake but also prevent similar issues from arising in the future.

Highlighting this gap in reflective practice can underscore the importance of integrating self-reflection into leadership development initiatives and organizational culture. Encouraging leaders to self-reflect during moments of crisis and as a regular habit can foster a culture of continuous learning, resilience, and improvement within the organization.

By acknowledging the tendency to overlook self-reflection in the aftermath of mistakes and crises, leaders can challenge themselves and others to embrace the discomfort of introspection and harness it as a catalyst for growth and transformation. We can also avoid the deadly trap of self-deflection. This proactive approach to self-reflection leads to more decisive leadership, more resilient organizations, and more tremendous success in navigating future challenges.



Emotional intelligenceFeedbackLeadershipOwnershipSelf-awarenessSelf-reflection

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