Last week we shared our mid-year reflection check-in, a series of questions to help you zoom in on how the first part of the year has gone and zoom out to look forward in order to create the best possible end of the year. In this episode, Brian, Linda, and I share our own mid-year reflections. We handpicked a few of our check-in questions as examples and also to share a little bit of insight into what Leadership Vision is working on as we look into the first half of this year and then look forward to the second half. Enjoy!
Zooming In: Reflections on the First Half of the Year
What are you curious about with the first half of the year? What hasn’t gone well? Here are our reflections zooming in on what has gone well within the first half of the year.
What have you been surprised by in the first half of the year?
Brian: There are a couple of things that truly stand out. The first one is coaching. I am really surprised by the coaching work that we were doing in the first half of the year. Years ago we didn’t do coaching at all, and now it takes up the lion’s share of the work that we are doing with our clients.
What surprises me is how open and vulnerable people are with us and how emotionally connected I’m feeling to the people that we’re working with. I’m finding myself more emotional with our clients, more emotionally connected. That to me has also been a surprise, and that’s a personal one that I didn’t expect. As I reflect on the years previous, I’ve not been this emotionally connected to the people.
The third surprise I’ve had is the impact of sustained change. The impact of sustained change is a theme with many of our clients, not only pandemic change but organizational change. It’s mergers, acquisitions, team changes, and how long people are enduring change and the effect that’s having on people.
In the last six months, what stood out to you?
Linda: When I think back to six months ago, I was writhing in back pain and remember thinking, ‘how in the world am I gonna be able to sit to be present? What is this going to mean?’ I was going to all different kinds of appointments to figure things out, doing all kinds of different exercises, and what I realized is that suffering levels the playing field in so many different ways. It forces us to reframe how we’re going to show up for each other. The first thing that stood out to me is how resilient humans are. In the middle of pain and suffering, there is still life and light. And the gift of the last six months, in particular, has been being able to hold both the hard things and the really good things.
Another thing that continues to stand out to me is the way Brian and I work together. We’ve been working side by side and have been married for a long time, and we are still able to enjoy and share moments in our work together. It’s incredible.
The third thing that stands out to me from this year, a very memorable experience, was being immersed in a culture in an actual building. None of the meetings were on video; everything was in person. The way that Brian and I were able to navigate over the course of a full week, I realized there is something about our capacity to go to different places and meet in small groups.
What are you wondering about?
Nathan: For me, this question revolves entirely around our online community. Last year, I was really pushing Brian and Linda to create an online community for leaders of all levels to process things, ask questions and access our resources. We have so much real-life experience, and this is a really cool opportunity for us to take our already-existing online community from our blog, podcasts and social media, and website and put them into a space where they can actually engage with us in real-time.
We have this whole thing created, but it hasn’t taken off the way that I thought it would. And so what am I wondering about are three things in this: Was I totally off? Did I misread the room and our people don’t want this? Are we doing it wrong? Are we implementing this in the wrong way somehow? Is it more of a marketing issue? And overall, I’m wondering about how this is more work and more time than I had really anticipated. How can we create this in a way that is sustainable for us, and also really adds value for our clients and community?
Zooming Out: Reflections on Looking Ahead
Here are our reflections zooming out on our hopes, goals, and aspirations for the next six months.
What does success look like for you?
Nathan: One thing that we’re revamping this year is our podcast, and we have discussed at length how we can bring on guests, clients, partners, and other experts to learn and exchange ideas. For me, success looks like publishing three podcast episodes in the next part of the year with these guests. It excites me because it’s a new challenge and something that we haven’t done before. I’m excited to learn from experts, learn from people that we’ve partnered with, and also infuse our own knowledge and wisdom and bring ideas together.
We all have expertise and are thought leaders in some way or another. Imagine a place where people are gathered together and given a chance to talk about their expertise and their thought leadership. A chance to be in the spotlight. Not everybody has the title, the publication, the opportunity, or the relationships. But they do have their own lived experience from their own unique perspective. And that is an expertise that others really need to hear.
Who would you want to partner with?
Linda: When I was wrestling with this question, I pushed back from my desk and began to look around my world, my neighborhood, and asked myself who do I want to partner with, collaborate with, work with, and think alongside? And I think I’m continually drawn to people who are leaders that are passionate about developing and investing in their people. We have met so many movers and shakers who come from so many different perspectives. But the one thread they have in common is they’re willing to invest in their people.
What will make a meaningful second half of the year?
Brian: A bunch of thoughts came to my mind right away, and the first one is getting the help we need right now. This comes from the work that we did six or seven months ago when we rewrote the business plan for our company. Not only to reflect Linda’s leadership but also to reflect what we were each doing as individuals within the company. Part of that outline were pretty strong statements about asking for help. There are many ways for us to get help. Back in January, I didn’t know what kind of help I needed, I just knew I needed help and right now the specific types of help we need are becoming much more clear. Some things remain the same, some things are new.
The second thing that would make the second half of the year meaningful is to continue to see Linda’s shaping influence on not only the direction the company is headed but how we are engaging with each other and our clients.
The last thing that would make a meaningful second half of the year is if we all started dreaming bigger. I believe that a bold company vision begins with a free and bold personal vision. My aspiration is that we are not only dreaming bigger and having bolder visions, but we’re actually pursuing them and seeing them come to life.
Your Mid-Year Reflections
It’s one thing to ask yourself these questions and do this inventory for yourself either by journaling or thinking about them. But there is great value in wrestling with some of these questions with others, the way we did. When you reflect with others, you’re able to hear different perspectives and reminders of how we can help each other or where new ideas can bubble up. We encourage you to do this with a teammate, friend, loved one, or partner.
We would love to hear from you about your mid-year reflections. Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents.
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