Reflection: Learning the Most from Experience

by Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

Leaders, what have you learned about yourself, your employees, and your company in the past year? What were your business blessings? What did you learn about your leadership style Reflection: Learning the Most From Experienceor methods? What will you take with you into the next twelve months and what will you leave behind?

A sharp leader is always looking for ways to evaluate their progress. You understand how essential it is to benchmark activities that make you successful and eliminate those that do not. You know it’s important to evaluate where you have been and where you want to go. Such evaluation provides the critical information needed to make adjustments in the way you lead and the way you do business.

Strategic planning can be costly in terms of time and money. I contend that many leaders overlook a much more effective method of planning and an opportunity for change – evaluating personal and corporate experiences. The dictionary defines experience as the “direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge.”

My purpose here is to provide you with a no hassle approach to evaluating the past and preparing for the future. It will be the most insightful and inexpensive exercise you do this year. It won’t require a consultant, facilitator, or a lot of time and money. What it does require is thoughtful consideration concerning what you experienced in the past twelve months and what you’ll change to increase your energy.

Consider these four questions which are listed in order of importance. Since the first question is the most important, take your time and give it as much thought as possible. After you complete the process, have your direct reports answer the questions. It might be interesting to see how your answers compare with theirs.

  1. What were your blessings in the past year?
  2. What were your learning experiences?
  3. What will you take with you into the next year?
  4. What will you discard or leave behind

If you found these tips from Bob Rausch, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at


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