When you think about it, the start of the school year is the perfect time of year to do it. Although it’s not the beginning of a new calendar year, those first few weeks after Labor Day feels like there’s an opportunity to start something new.
This is not the first time I have had these feelings. Back in September of 2013, I wrote a blog about how the back to school time is a great opportunity for leaders to reflect on their own leadership roles. So I gave that original blog a bit of a refresh to help you think about your own leadership role in 2015, and what you should focus on in the last few months to finish the year strong.
First, a bit about what’s going on in my household.
This week, my kids went off to school with the standard mix of excitement and anxiety. My oldest son is in Grade 12, his final year of high school. He will focus on what he wants to do after he graduates. The good news is that he’s got a plan. My other two kids will be heading back to Grade 11 and Grade 7. Soon enough, we’ll all be back into the regular school routine of test, quizzes, assignments, extracurricular activities and so on.
While there is often a focus on kids and getting them back to school during this time of the year, it’s also a great time for leaders to pause and reflect on our own leadership roles.
I encourage you to find some quiet time over the next few days to think about your role as a leader. There’s a small window of time before all the hustle and bustle of the school year kicks into full gear, where you can take a few moments to reflect on how effective you’ve been as a leader so far this year.
To help you in this process, I suggest trying to answer the following 5 questions:
- How effective have you been as a leader so far this year? What grade would you give yourself? An A+, a C, or an F?
- What were some of the critical decisions that you made over the past year? Did they have a positive or negative impact on your organization?
- What leadership obligations did you live up to, and which ones did you ignore? How did this affect your organization?
- Did you do everything you could to make the leadership culture in your organization stronger, by building a community of leaders?
- How will you finish the rest of the year off with a bang? What is one action you can accomplish to make your organization stronger?
By reflecting on these questions, you’ll come away with a greater sense of where you’ve succeeded as a leader. You’ll also create a sense of focus on where you need to do better for the remainder of the year. I will do my own reflection on Thursday on a flight back home from a business trip.
Let me know how it goes and what you end up learning about yourself.
This week’s gut check asks: how can you finish strong in 2015?
Follow me on Twitter @VinceMolinaro
About the Author
Vince Molinaro is the Global Managing Director of Strategic Solutions at Lee Hecht Harrison. He is also the author of The Leadership Contract – a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. Vince has spent more than 20 years as an adviser to boards and senior executives looking to improve leadership in their organizations.Follow on Twitter More Content by Vince Molinaro