Tips on Effective


  • Do it daily 
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Journal what went right and what went wrong
  • Decide and act on how to improve 




“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience”



Dean Crisp is the author of Leadership Lessons from the Thin Blue Line. He is the president of the Crisp Consulting Group and founder of Leaders Helping Leaders Network, a network of professionals dedicated to growing future leaders. He’s served as the National Training Director for FBI-LEEDA and continues as an instructor for them when he is not teaching his signature course, Intentional Leadership: Leading with a Purpose. You may reach Dean by emailing him at 


Four Pillars of Leadership

Pillar 3: Self-Reflection

By Dean Crisp

Thank you for joining my blog and taking the time out of your busy schedule to read it. It would mean so much to hear your thoughts on the blog posts and suggested topics or your own posts. Please sign up for free, log in and comment on these posts.  And now, let’s continue our discussion of the four pillars of leadership.

Over the last few weeks, I have been writing about what I believe to be the four pillars of leadership. As a recap, Pillar 1 is Mindset and is truly at the foundation of quality leadership. Pillar 2 is Emotional Intelligence and each of its components begin to separate effective leaders from ineffective ones.

This week, I want to address my third pillar is Self Reflection. This pillar, like the others, is vital to every leader, but it is the one pillar that is the most difficult to execute. Self reflection simply means taking a self reflective look at your self as a leader and asking your self one simple question: How am I doing as a leader?

Now as simple as this may seem it is difficult. Their are many reasons it is difficult that include:

  • time
  • work distractions
  • a false sense that everything is ok
  • apathy, or simply not caring
  • work overload (too much to do)
  • and other factors unique to your situation.

Now, while I know personally that this can be the most difficult pillar to execute on a regular basis, I also know from my own experience that it creates the greatest transformation in your leadership when implemented regularly.

Why is it so difficult? Well, one major reason is that Self-reflection asks you to honestly keep score of your leadership. Now most of us as leaders find that keeping score on a daily basis would not benefit us nor those we lead. But think about it, If you really took a self reflective look everyday and asked yourself:

  • How can I improve?
  • How did the meetings today that I conducted really go?
  • Who did I have a problem with today
  • or who did I miss today as a leader that needed my attention?

These are just some of the questions a self reflective leader ask themselves.

I can remember as a Police Chief asking myself those questions on my drive home after work. It helped me tremendously to right several wrongs I had made during the day and to make better decisions the next day.

We can’t wait until the end of the week to be self-reflective. IF we do, we as leaders will be too far behind. As we enter the holiday season and come to the end of another calendar year, it’s a great time to ask yourself as a leader some of these questions.

Are YOU a self reflective leader? If not start today by asking yourself: How am I doing? Give your self honest feedback and make the necessary changes to be a self reflective leader.

Trust me, the results will be amazing.




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