There’s an adage, among business experts, about the purpose of a rearview mirror. Compared to the large, open windshield in front of you, a rear-view mirror is small. It provides limited visibility and only gives you a concentrated view of what is happening behind you.
As a result, you won’t get very far if you spend all your time driving while trying to look in the rear-view mirror. Nevertheless, the mirror is included in every car as an essential tool for successful driving. You would agree, at times, it’s necessary to look behind you when you drive.
As a business leader, you’re in the driver’s seat of your company and get to press forward, steering your team down the road to success. The windshield gives you a clear view of wide, open road ahead of you. Is it important for you, on this figurative charge to success, to use the rear-view mirror? Simply put, yes.
See Where You’ve Been
Reflection can be an essential part of making progress, in part because it is helpful to see where you came from. What benefit is there in remembering where you started? Progress can be tricky to gauge.
The daily grind of doing business can deceive you into believing that you haven’t moved forward. Taking a glance in the rear-view mirror provides you with an opportunity to measure exactly how far you’ve progressed.
Concerned you aren’t growing fast enough? Remembering that you started with one employee can be an encouragement as you look at an office that is bursting with an enthused team.
Learn From The Road
Reflection is also a powerful tool because it enables you to evaluate past success and failures. Using a past mistake as a learning tool can not only prevent you from making the same mistake, it enables you to learn from previous missteps.
When you realize that even the most successful entrepreneurs have their own share of failures, it should empower you to embrace your mistakes as milestones on your journey. You can learn from your mistakes and figure out what went wrong, or see where a turn in the right direction led to an increase in revenue.
By looking at the success you’ve enjoyed, you can gauge the status of your current trajectory. Are you continuing to capitalize on the forward progress you made? Have you gotten away from the original path you were on? Looking back, reflecting, is the only way to find out.
Find Ways to Help Others
When you remember the milestones in your past, you are better equipped to help others on their journey. You can relate to the business owner who is just starting out and offer encouragement during the hard start-up phase. When you’ve struggled through growing pains, you can provide insight to others who face the challenges of growth. Use reflection as an opportunity to mentor those around you.
Savvy business leaders understand that to move forward, sometimes you need to look back. Looking in the rear-view mirror can’t be your focus, but should be an important part of tracking your progress. Add a time of reflection to your next team meeting, and celebrate how far you’ve come!
Reflecting is a can’t-miss vital step to your next level of success for your team and your business. Contact the team at My Big Idea™ to learn how reflecting can revolutionize your work, your team, your goals and lead to your big idea.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing THE Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.