Make reflection part of your daily practice – Reflection Is the Most Important Part of your learning process as a senior executive


It’s midsummer 2016 and an evening in July. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection over the last six months. Since its mid-year it’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on what you’ve done right so far this year, to learn from what you’ve done and what to change for the next half year. As a senior executive I would also advise people in general to reflect more over their life.

Summer time is also time where senior executives spend their time for develop themselves through different kind of advanced management programs in universities. Senior executives can gain a lot of spending time on reflection on their leadership skills and how to develop themselves.

The purpose of Reflecting on Your Life is to create an opportunity for senior executives and others to reflect – outside the daily stress at your office and duties at home– on what matters and why. Specifically, senior executives should ask themselves multiple important questions such as:

  • Where am I headed and what is my ultimate personal dream?
  • How might my life experience influence my dream?
  • What do I value and will my time in the corporate office impact my values?
  • What are my responsibilities, if any, to my community and to make the world a better place?

And on further reflection, this habit of reflection is something that I’ve developed pretty strongly this year.

  • It’s actually one of the secrets to my success.
  • At least once a day, and more often several times a day, I reflect on my day, on my life, on what I’ve been doing right, and what isn’t working. I reflect on every aspect of my life, and from this habit of reflection, I am able to continuously improve.
  • Reflection is what gave me the topic of this post, and the tips that are to follow.
  • I highly recommend that, if you haven’t yet, you develop the daily habit of reflection, in your own way. It could have profound changes on your life.

In general, I will say that reflections are important because;

  • It helps you learn from your mistakes. If we don’t reflect on our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. And that’s not very smart. However, if we reflect on those mistakes, figure out what went wrong, see how we can prevent them in the future, we can use our mistakes to get better. Mistakes, then, are a valuable learning tool, instead of something to feel embarrassed or upset about. Reflection is an important way to do that.


  • It gives you great ideas. Like I said, every single post idea that I have for Zen Habits (or other blogs I write for) comes from reflection. Basically, I reflect on things that I’m doing or that are going on in my life. If things aren’t going well, I learn stuff I can share with others. If I reflect on something that’s a success for me, I think about how I got that success, and share that too. I’ve had hundreds of great ideas this year from reflection.


  • It makes you happier. If you reflect on the things you did right, on your successes, that allows you to celebrate every little success. It allows you to realize how much you’ve done right, the good things you’ve done in your life. Without reflection, it’s too easy to forget these things, and focus instead on our failures.


  • It gives your perspective. Often we are caught up in the troubles or busy-ness of our daily lives. A mistake or a high-pressure project or something like that can seem like it means all the world. It can overwhelm us sometimes. But if we take a minute to step back, and reflect on these problems, and how in the grand scheme of things they don’t mean all that much, it can calm us down and lower our stress levels. We gain perspective, and that’s a good thing.

Continuing education is important, but without reflection it will not help you.

Generally senior executives who takes an Advanced Management Program in the summer time hope to have and advancement to a higher position within a couple of years.

Advancement from the operational to the strategic level represents one of the most critical and challenging professional transitions a leader can make. And not all leaders can make the move successfully. The frequency of senior executive failure, churn and turnover is significant. More and more executives have recognized the importance of recruiting, identifying and preparing effective leaders; It remains one of management’s highest priorities. With the speed of change facing business today, the need for effective senior level strategic leaders, who understand themselves and their business and can formulate and execute business strategies to produce desired results, is seen as critical to the very survival of the business.

Contrasted with operational leaders, whose primary role is to manage day-to-day business operations, leaders who transition from operational to strategic leadership must assume a variety of key roles to achieve longer-term strategic business results in pursuit of profitable sales growth, increased market share, implementation of change, and the strategic alliances that will help achieve these goals.

Quite often, one of the biggest barriers to success in making the transition to strategic leadership is a lack of self-insight and insight into the roles that leaders need to assume at the senior strategic level. A taxonomy is needed that defines and helps to clarify the nature of these roles and the transition leaders must make to perform well in these roles. Reflections of the leadership role will help better prepare leaders to be successful, and to provide a framework for their self-development and deployment.

The leadership crisis is one of the most important issues facing businesses today. The effective identification, development and deployment of senior strategic leaders are central to addressing this crisis. In addition to focusing on the skills or competencies important to leadership success, it also is important to understand the situations that must be addressed or the roles strategic leaders must assume.

Based on extensive experience since 2005 in assessment, development, and coaching and mentoring of senior leaders, I have identified that leaders that work with self-reflection development themselves better than other.  Self-reflection allows for an increased awareness of problematic performance traits and the ability to develop solutions on how to adjust those aspects of your leadership style.  Just as you would develop a performance plan for an employee you can develop one for yourself and never stop increasing your leadership capacity.



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