The reflection of great leadership.

When you look at your leadership reflection in the mirror each morning, whmirror_catat do you see?  Do you like what you see? I don’t mean are you perfect, and I don’t mean have you always made the right decisions.  What I do mean is mean do you see someone who has overcome many obstacles to become who you are today and someone who is capable of accomplishing greatness?

That is an accurate reflection of all leaders and a positive leadership self-image. Heading out the door each day with that thought to guide you will lead you to greatness.

Why is an accurate yet positive leadership self-image so important?  Brian Tracey says, “The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image.”

The practice of accurate self-reflection requires a balance. Self-reflection intended for self-admiration is detrimental to our success.  Self-reflection intended for self-evaluation is beneficial to everyone’s success. 

Greek mythology tells of Narcissus, a man of great beauty.  His self-reflection led him to a pool of water where he saw a reflection of his beauty. Unable to turn away from his own importance, Narcissus died.

Self-reflection intended for self-evaluation allows you to:

Evaluate your accountability

Good to Great author Jim Collins wrote that great leaders “looked out of the window to credit others for success and looked in the mirror to apportion responsibility when things didn’t go to plan. Conversely, charismatic leaders from companies that didn’t make the grade as great had a tendency to look through the window to blame other factors for their lack of success and looked in the mirror to take credit when things went well.”

Great leaders take accountability for their success and the success of their teams.

Evaluate your commitment

Basketball legend LeBron James said, “Commitment is a big part of what I am and what I believe. How committed are you to winning? How committed are you to being a good friend? To being trustworthy? To being successful? How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed, or are you not?”

Great leaders understand that they are leaders in all parts of their life.

Evaluate your communication

Author, speaker, and leadership coach, Tim Elmore said, “When a communicator provides a window for people to see into his or her life, those people receive a mirror to see their own. By holding up a window to their own soul (their own humanity), listeners identify with their story and become engaged with the speaker. Because the communicator was secure enough to pull back the curtain on their own life—everyone feels safe to lean in and examine their own. That’s what the window accomplishes. Once an audience sees into the world of the speaker, they’re provided with a mirror to their own.”

Great leaders communicate in a way that reflects the needs of the audience.