THE REFLECTIVE LEADER

Picking up the pieces along that one interesting long road, nothing becomes more captivating than the experiences garnered along the way. One person who individual drawing on perspectives and learning from the good, the bad and the unexpected experiences, is The Reflective Leader. Reflective Leaders will find solitude to plan so to shape their emotions. They take themselves on silent trips to appreciate the nostalgias that inform the journey ahead. A reflective leader is never same as a quiet, calm or conscientious leader.  This is to shape the discourse in the right perspective. The main attribute is that, reflective leaders are deep, insightful and thought-provoking with their actions and inactions. Basically, such leaders know their stuff. Applying themselves to experiences on tasks to be executed are always brought to the fore. The key discussions are normally around how to execute tasks flawlessly and within timelines. More importantly, questions are asked around how to solve new challenges with old experiences.

“…… Reflective leaders make thinking part of their retroactive rhythm.”

Reflective leaders make thinking part of their retroactive rhythm. Interestingly, inasmuch as the future is important, the past is crucial to reflective leaders. Linking practice to solutions is a skill. Reflective leaders are addicted to reflective journaling which guides leader preparation and team readiness. As a matter of fact, Reflective Leaders always come prepared. They put every discussion in perspective with simulations, role plays and possible outcomes of meetings before reality arrives. Reflective leaders always have their FAQs under their belts. A reflective leader is good at anticipating future occurrences. Asking questions and preempting the answer is a leadership skill which prepares leaders for the next question. A reflective leader must be present and must have presence.  So the script will go like ‘when I entered the office, I knew Kwame has taken over the leadership of that department’. It can also be the reverse where another script may go like ‘when I entered the office, I knew Kwame had left the team’. In every aspect of leadership, influence shows up strong. Being present is also about self-awareness and strong demonstration of emotional intelligence at the very core of leadership discussions.

A reflective leader is always attentive to the experiences of the past and how they can influence the future (Sinek 2014). Reflective leaders think through issues, not only around issues and they embark on careful observations to elicit flexible responses. It is obviously a fact that they take time to engage which is why they focus on polishing their delivery. Reflective leaders add value to the workplace. They always ensure that their space is better than how they found it. Even if they stayed in your organization for an hour, you’ll still smell the value they brought to the workplace. They are social leaders. Reflective leaders don’t personalize power. They give power away, so to multiply it in future. What they bring to the table is always strategic. Their ideas shape and shake the very essentials of organizational decisions. This is because they ask reflective questions to make teams think and rethink.

This is Leadership!

Author: Richard K. Ahenkorah

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