One definition of Curate is: To take charge, pull together, sift through, and select for presentation.
I decided to spend time curating the body of work I have built over the past years in an archive, and I wanted to share it with you. Why? Because the process was enlightening, and I think very relevant to leader growth and development. With today’s demands on leaders of fast paced organizations, time to reflect, pull together, sift and celebrate individual leader contributions is scarce.
When was the last time you set aside space to reflect and celebrate your personal contributions to your organization?
If it has been a while, here is a short exercise for you to engage in before the end of 2021.
As leaders you are master strategists and visionaries. That is not what this exercise is about. It is not about planning, setting resolutions, or direction. It is not even about goals or intentions. It is only about looking back at all you given through an appreciative lens that you will benefit from turning on yourself. It is difficult in that you are so used to thinking of others and so your challenge will be in prioritizing this time to curate a collection of your contributions.
On a piece of paper, in a special journal, or on your computer, set aside 30 minutes to answer the following questions:
- Why do I go to work every day?
- What do I enjoy most about my work? In other words, where are the places I spent a good deal of time and energy for all the right reasons?
- In what ways was I an innovator in my field this year?
- How did my strengths come into play this past year?
- Where did I grow and develop the most this year in terms of my leadership?
- Without thinking first, write down as many positive statements I can think of that others said about me this year. GO!
- How does it feel to acknowledge myself? What are the positive emotions I have while thinking about my contributions and what are the obstacles that bubble up for me when I turn inward?
- What is my favorite thing about myself as a leader in reflecting on this past year?
- Looking back over the past year, what excites me most about my leadership?
- What three words best describe me as a leader?
If you try this exercise, my hope is that you will feel at peace with all you have contributed, and you will experience that rare feeling of overwhelming satisfaction absent of striving and pushing. My wish for you is that you feel complete in your contributions this past year and that completeness will give you courage to begin again, with renewed purpose, after the new year. This exercise is yours. It is just for you. However if you choose to share your findings with someone you trust, a spouse, a coworker, a coach, my guess is your collection will become even more real and it will breathe fresh life into your purpose moving forward.
It is a privilege to collect, sift and curate the Leadership Insights I have written over the past several years. I hope you find the archive I have built to be a resource for you when you need it most. The beauty of this process for each of us, is we oversee what we bring forward and add to our collection. We are the curators of what we gracefully take into the New Year, and what we choose to leave behind. Thank you for sharing your leadership journey with me. It is truly a gift.
It is worth noting that I will be using this exercise with my existing coaching clients to set up the new year. If you would like to learn more about my coaching services click here.