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October 12, 2015 / Michael Yaroshefsky

HBS Reflections

I’ve never really considered myself the “reflective type,” but HBS makes a point of promoting reflection for the purpose of digesting lessons we learn in class.  Unlike accounting or finance principles that can generally be accepted at face value and applied by rote, lessons in leadership and team dynamics are not prescriptive.  They need to be filtered and adapted based on one’s own personal style.  While being a narcissistic hardass may have worked for Steve Jobs at Apple, it’s something I personally wouldn’t enjoy nor do I think I could pull off successfully.

localglobalmaxFortunately, there is no single correct leadership strategy, only a diverse set of parameters with a continuum of possible approaches.  And across this multidimensional landscape of leadership styles, for each individual in a given context, there exist local and global maxima of effectiveness.  (Clearly I take comfort in relating squishy concepts back to hard, logical math.)  The goal of reflection, therefore, is to become aware of these parameters and consider where my personal local and global maxima are.

Early in the semester we were urged to keep a “Leadership Journal.”  While I initially balked at the idea, I now feel like I’m learning far too many new concepts and frameworks each day to hope to remember.  For this reason, I’m endeavoring to start keeping a leadership journal… online — in hopes that I can look back on these posts for inspiration in the future and that they may be of value to anyone else who stumbles on them.

This leadership journal begins now, with this post reflecting on the merits of reflection.  Very meta.