I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to make a positive difference to others, to contribute and add value to something that is bigger than themselves. Our life purpose doesn’t need to get any more complicated than that.
As a leader, you’re always giving – whether it’s advice, support, time and so on. There’s no down time. People are always taking their cues from how you react and respond.
What have you received this year? I’m not talking about a bonus, promotion or that sort of thing. I’m talking about how others have contributed to you – to what you’ve learned and achieved that’s helped you and your leadership.
Christmas is close. With a list of things to ‘get done’ before Christmas, shift your focus for a minute and self-reflect on this question:
For everything that went right and wrong for you this year, how did the people around you contribute to what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown as a leader? With this contribution in mind, what can you choose to be grateful for? For example:
- Was it your team’s trust in you that allowed you the freedom to nudge people outside their comfort zone to achieve great results?
- Did your boss or mentor provide the encouragement and support you needed just when you needed it? Or was it a negative reaction from someone that helped give you clarity about your own leadership style? (remember both positive and negative frames provide learning opportunities).
- In thinking about what went wrong for you this year, what lessons were there to learn from and what did you learn about yourself and your resilience?
- What’s the thing you’re most proud of achieving this year? Did that achievement come, for example, with a new belief that when presented with a challenge, the best in you and your team come out?
Reflecting on how we’ve benefited from the experiences we’ve had at work and the people we’ve worked with, is a good thing. Why? Chances are, you’ve spent more time with your work colleagues this year than your family. It can be humbling to reflect on how others have contributed positively to us.
What can you choose to be grateful for? Who can you personally acknowledge?