Review and Analyze
The last phase is Review and Analyze. Now it’s time to take a step back and think about what you have learned.
As you consider your leadership experience, understand that you don’t have to be perfect. Perfection is neither attainable nor required. No one is perfect, and no one expects you to be. Everyone has challenges, setbacks, and shortfalls.
Researchers have found that 77% of our mental programs are false, counter-productive, harmful, or work against us (Helmstetter, 2013). This means over three-fourths of our thoughts distract us from reaching our goals. You may have thoughts such as, “I am afraid of being in charge. What if I mess up? I will lose my job and get evicted. No one likes me and they are not going to follow me. No one listens to me. I am too nervous to lead my team. We failed when I was in charge of field day in high school, and if I am in charge, we will fail now. I am not a born leader like Tony is. I will never be as good as he is.”
As much as we try to remain positive and focus on transforming our minds, we are distracted and interrupted by trips down mental pathways that lead in a different direction than the one we intended to follow.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul finds himself in such a situation while trying to lead a righteous life. Romans 7:17-23 (The Message Translation) says, “But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.”
Paul struggled, as every leader does, but he never gave up. He became a great leader. He went on to establish several churches and to write thirteen letters that are included in the Bible. He was just a human being like you and me. He persevered and accomplished great things despite feeling he “did not have what it takes.”
As a leader, when you make a mistake, commit yourself to recovering quickly. Your followers and the leaders in your organization will be watching you and paying attention to how you handle adversity. Tell yourself, “Next time, I will ...” and proceed with instructions to yourself on how you will avoid making the same mistake in the future. In your plans, include time to recover and learn from your mistakes. The better you are at recovering, the more effective and respected a leader you will be.
After you have completed a leadership experiment, take some time to reflect on what you have learned. Are you taking your commitment seriously? Are you closer to reaching your goal of becoming a strong leader? What went well? What did not go so well and where do you need to improve? What additional help do you need? What is the next step? How have you grown? Are you closer to reaching your leadership goal? Do you need to modify your goal—perhaps make it more realistic, or perhaps speed up the deadline? Are you happy with your results, or disappointed, and why? Was your mentor helpful? Would you seek advice from him or her again? In your Leadership Journal, write down the following: