Four ways to reflect that help boost performance

By Wanda T. Wallace Ph.D & Stephen Newman


Powerful modes of reflection are crucial for leaders and their teams, especially when dealing with a crisis.

Reflection for seasoned leaders has always been a personal process. Step back. Regroup. Look in the mirror. Push the pause button. There is often an intuitive belief that reflection carries restorative powers and can even be transformational!


In theory, it goes like this: On top of a mountain, a leader retreats to ask him or herself a set of questions about life, stress, and sacrifice, capturing the answers in a beautifully bound notebook. The questions don’t vary much. Where are you going? How are you living your values? What gives you meaning, purpose, or fulfillment? Are all the components of your life managed as you need them to be managed: career, family, friends, finances, health, and spiritual growth?


The power of this reflection comes from digging deep and being in touch with your core. It is very much an affair of the heart. With the insights from this exercise, you come back to your role renewed, focused on what matters to you and clearer about how you will lead this year.


Although this kind of deep reflection (on an imagined mountaintop) is a useful process, it may not be enough to tackle the range of problems a business encounters in the course of a year because it focuses solely on the leader.


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