I was reading late last night, finishing a book, my daughter Kelsey came in, awakened for unknown reasons. She asked me to come lay with her to help her go back to sleep.
As I laid in her bed, wide awake, the following thought went through my head.
When I am reading I am my best self.
Reflecting on this thought I clarified – not when I am reading a website or a newspaper or just any book. But most of the time when I am reading – whether business, self-help, biography or fiction – I am truly feeling good about myself and the world around me.
My next thought was, What other times and in what other situations am I my best self?
The list I started in my head has expanded in my journal this morning, with a heading,
My Best Self ListHere are a few of my entries:
- hugging someone I care about
- being in front of a group sharing something important
- doing selfless things
- sitting on a tractor seat
- listening to certain songs that lift my soul (I really need to make a playlist…)
Creating this list this morning has been the most inspiring thing I’ve done this week, and I believe it is the start of a life changing thought process for me. My new favorite question is How will I be my best self more today?
As you can see my list contains all manner of things – personal and professional, private and public, big and small.
Yours will too.
But only if you build the list.
Make this your leadership assessment today. Think about the times and activities when you are your best self. Why? Because when we are our best selves, we are better leaders. When we have a clearer glimpse of our best selves, we are better able to do the coaching and mentoring required to help bring that out in others.
I challenge you to do this exercise for yourself today (please START RIGHT NOW). And then, formally or informally, make this exercise a part of your leadership development program.
It will make a difference in your life and the lives of those you lead.