Any substantial anniversary inspires moments of reflection. For me, as we kick-off the 20th anniversary of Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development® (what we call “GILD”), I pause to think about the tens of thousands of leaders who’ve been impacted by Linkage and this global immersion learning experience. The opportunity to learn from renowned experts from leadership development, business, academia, the arts and more–and from peers and colleagues from around the world is truly remarkable.
As we take it all in and absorb as much as we can from those around us, we also have a unique opportunity to reflect on our own paths as leaders and to build greater self-awareness. This process begins when we commit to being truly aware of the impact of our reactions, the influence we have on others, and conscious of the incredible opportunities we can create for ourselves and others around us. It starts with each one of us.
I’m reminded of a story I heard the other day about a famous Jewish Cleric, Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz. When thinking back on his life, Chaim reflected. The story went something like this:
When I was young and starry-eyed, I set out to change the world. By the time I got through my 20’s, I came to the realization that solving the world’s problems was beyond the scope of what was possible. So, in my 30’s, I focused my time and energy on my community; shaping the hearts and minds of those around me—encouraging them to think in different ways. After years of that, still nothing changed. Then, I started to think about those closest to me, namely–my family. I’ll focus on making them better, I thought. By my 50’s, they had all grown and moved away. Finally, I realized that I needed to focus on bettering myself—a wonderful, lifelong journey that is never complete.
So, I invite you, whether you’re attending this year’s GILD or not; take a moment to focus inward. It is these moments of self-discovery that might just help you make a bigger and broader impact in the world.