Hibernate to Improve your Leadership

As we celebrate the Winter Solstace in North America, I am reminded of the value we can derive from “the longest day of darkness of 2016.” It is fitting that this day comes as we turn the clock towards 2017. Much like our wildlife respond to the darkeness by hibernating, we too can hibernate in a purposeful way to advance our leadership style. 

Enough has been said about the year of 2016. It is likely that you have had your ups and downs professionally and personally. By hibernating on our leadership style, we close our eyes and look inside to reflect and deepen the  awareness of our impacts enabling us to refine how we lead in our work and homes. 

To jump start your leadership hibernation, I offer some questions. On a professional level, what is it in your current way of leading that enabled those ups and downs? What is it in your personal life that enabled those ups and downs at home, and in the office. To explore these questions, try this activity:

  • Take out a piece of paper
  • Draw a line down the middle
  • Title it with your greatest leadership impact of 2016, written in a sentence like “As a result of [insert your action(s) taken], I enabled [insert impact] to happen.”
  • Take 3-5 minutes with your eyes closed and relive that experience in your mind
  • On the left side of this paper capture the choices, thoughts, and feelings that you recall through that action and impact. 
  • On the right side of the paper capture the actions, and behaviors you made happen. 
  • Reflect and hibernate on how you can and will do more of this in 2017

Then, take out another piece of paper

  • Perform the same exercise, this time under the title of your greatest leadership mistake of 2016
  • Do the exercise
  • Reflect and hibernate on how you can and will do less of this in 2017

Finally, make a commitment to move both of these experiences into action by any of the following ways:

  • Seal the pieces of paper in an envelope to be opened before the end of Q1.
  • Write the impacts on a post it and leave it on a visible part of your desk as s daily reminder
  • Take a photo of the exercise papers and save them to your phone wall paper or background as a frequent reminder

Hibernating on your leadership helps to find the breakthrough in your style that can unleash greater impacts in 2017. Go into that quiet space, and contemplate how you plan to advance your leadership impact in 2017. 

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