There is something only you can live: your life. Socrates said that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. Being oneself, living your life and examining it, all these things need reflection time. Call it how you want, but it’s ‘stop and think’.
Reflection is for me the key ingredient of leadership. A super-doer, super-achiever, super-energetic leader with little reflection attached is not a good leader. An energy-sucking machine is not the same as a strong leadership.
So, what’s reflection time? You can have it in many forms and shapes. The universal way is a myth. Some people need to disappear to a remote and exotic land to do that. Great! Well, great for them if it works. Other people, more prosaic ways of life, need ‘time outs’. But not all time out is reflective. It may be restful, or energising, but not necessarily reflective. Long journeys or short ones, you need to find your way.
There is a tradition in many spiritual writings (and, as such, attributed to many authors) that says that the true spiritual journey is one inch long. That is, look inside your head. My geometrical version of this is that instead of a 360-degree feedback system, so overused and abused in management; people need to learn the 45-degree feedback first: look yourself in the eye, in the mirror. Small angle, short journey, you see? All manageable!
To be reflective is to ask questions. It sounds simple but, since we have been educated to produce answers (look at the state of current education systems) more than in the art of questioning, it may be harder than we think. It’s inevitable that some psychological conditions such as lack of distractions are required. Again, spiritual traditions of many sorts practice the 3S: silence, stillness and solitude. These are the hardest things you can ask many leaders to do. Trust me, I try. I run a leadership retreat based on them. In the absence of perfect conditions, I ask leaders to practice very small tricks as ‘initiation’ (!): drive with the radio off is a very popular one.
There is no obvious substitute for reflection in leadership. Perhaps the first steps are about reflecting on all these topics! The best books on leadership are books of questions. The best leadership development programmes are programmes full of questions. One of the greatest investments we can make in personal and professional development is the art of questioning.
Reflection and questioning are brothers. Again, non-outsource-able. Nobody can reflect or question for you.
For questioning content that challenges the corporate norms – take a dip into Leandro’s new book The Flipping Point – Deprogramming Management.
Business is working in tunnel vision mode through the lenses of a limited worldview. Prestigious business schools, academics and Big Management Consulting firms produce daily pieces of ‘research’ that are mere journalistic accounts of what 100 or 300 CEOs say. These CEOs repeat what they have read in the publications of the same business schools, academic institutions and Big Management Consulting firms. The circle of that colossal groupthink is alive and well. Organizations are now fully prepared for the past.
A flipping point in the trend for adopting absurd management ideas needs to be reached. Management needs to be deprogrammed.
This book of 200 tweet-sized vignettes, twitter-on-paper, which can be read in no particular order, looks at the other side of things – flipping the coin. It asks us to apply more rigour and critical thinking in the way we use assumptions and management practices that were created many years ago.
Our real and present danger is not a future of robots and AI, but of current established BS. In this book, you are invited to the Mother of All Call Outs!
Read recent reviews on LinkedIn and Amazon. Or ‘Look Inside‘ for a preview.
Continue the conversation, by joining Leandro and his team for the next free webinar with Q&A, in the Feed Forward Series, on 30th July, as they debunk The Myths of Management.
Old traditional management thinking will be unsuitable to win in the post Covid19 scenario. Maybe it’s time to run the organization ‘under new management’. Register now! 30th July, 18:00 BST/19:00 CET – for my free, live webinar with Q&A.
We have been running enterprises with very tired concepts of empowerment, ownership, accountability and other little challenged pillars. The truth is that there is mythology embedded in all those concepts. Old traditional management thinking will be unsuitable to win in the post Covid-19 scenario. So, what will the ‘new management’ look like? Which elephants do we need to see in the management room?
All attendees will be eligible to receive one complimentary copy of Leandro’s new book, The Flipping Point.