All of our life experiences, professional and personal, shape the way we lead and affect our potential. The more we reflect on our stories and learn from them, the more authentic we become and the more effective we will be.
In last week's post you were challenged to draw the path of your life and divide it into chapters. Today, I encourage you to look at your story from satellite height, surveying the whole story of your life and leadership. As you reflect on it, the origins of your purpose and motivations as a leader will emerge.
Start by looking back at the chapters you identified from last week's exercise and take note of the people, events, and experiences that had the greatest impact on your life. Then, look at the chapters individually and answer the following about each:
- What did the experiences in this chapter make me believe?
- The experiences in this chapter made me more or less ______________.
- If I could go back, I would have more of _________ in this chapter.
- How am I affected on a daily basis today by the events in this chapter?
When you finish these questions, examine your story as a whole. Where do you first see your inspiration and passion for leadership appear? How have each developed over time? What person and experience impacted you the most? Where do you find the greatest fulfillment in leading?
Questions. Questions. Questions. I was told once to love the questions because it is in the search for answers that transformation occurs. Transformation leads to inspired leadership. Only you have your answers. Happy searching!
What will you do with what you find?
Next in the series: Learning from our crucibles...
Note: Exercise taken from Finding Your True North: A Personal Guide, by Bill George.