Fall is my favorite time of year. For one, it’s perfect for horseback riding. I often feel like I could ride forever through the crisp, cold mornings as the trees change color and  fallen leaves rustle beneath Cato’s hooves. The forest is redolent with the damp smell of moss and the musky-sweet decay of leaves.

The full harvest moon takes my breath away. As the days get shorter, the low slanting light seems more golden, tempered by the morning fog or evening mist. The holidays bring time for celebration and gratitude.

It seems that everything about the end of the year marks
a poignant threshold and invites time for reflection.

Five Self-Relection Questions

Regular periods of self-reflection help leaders ensure they’re headed in the right direction with regard to engaging their teams, making progress on their own leadership development, and creating a legacy that is sustainable over the long-term.

Different leaders will have different approaches to how they reflect. Some might look at their daily interactions with others, while some will focus more broadly on how they’ve made an impact on their organization and people.

My own preference is to ask questions that really get to the heart of what it means to be a leader ‒ with some answers showing me how well I measure up, while others helpfully highlight areas which need my attention. Here are five of my favorite questions.

  1. What am I most proud of accomplishing this year?
  2. What didn’t work so well, why, and what am I going to do about it?
  3. Who do I need to acknowledge and why?
  4. Where did I grow and develop th emost as a leader?
  5. What will I challenge myself with next year?

There are many versions of this list – check out these other resouces articles I’ve listed.

Stay with the questions over several sittings. Let your thoughts percolate. One characteristic of fall is that time seems to slow down. Make the most of this – there’s no rush.

Whether you are in a leadership role, an aspiring leader or you just want to be your best in work and life, the habit of reflection can build self-awareness, efficacy and resilience. If done with purpose and intention, it can help you establish and achieve more meaningful goals and prepare for the new year ahead.

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