One tip to help you navigate the year ahead inspired by Oprah.


Did you hear Oprah Winfrey’s speech last week at the Golden Globe awards? If you get a chance don’t just read the transcript..listen to it. Powerful, moving and inspiring. Within 24 hours the media was speculating that she might run for President in 2020. I’m not sure if I would vote for her but at least, if I did give her my vote I believe I would know what she would deliver as a person. In her career she has consistently stood for integrity, inclusiveness and positive ethics.

It is my belief that Oprah is an example of Authentic Leadership. She demonstrates a high level of self-awareness, is clear on her values, walks the talk, is open to different perspectives and is transparent about what she believes in.

What I have consistently seen from her over the years is a woman who has freely and authentically expressed and owned her emotions (both joy and sorrow); openly owned her strengths and weaknesses and has always demonstrated an openness and willingness to keep learning.

So what is there for us in this?

Oprah reminded me of the importance of continually working on ourselves not just for our development in the context of work but, in our broader lives as parents, partners, daughters and sons. It is my belief that the place to start is to regularly take a small nugget of time to self-reflect. Self-reflection not only can contribute to raising our self-awareness but to authentic leadership development.

Take the time to pause between meetings. To notice. Simply ask yourself, what is going on for me in this moment? What do I need in this moment? Are there any themes emerging for me when I check in to myself? Sometimes just noticing where we are at is all we need.

Take the time to notice triggers in your day. When Joe said ‘X’ in this mornings update it made me feel ‘angry, confused etc’. What do I need to look at here..within me?

Take the time on the train back home to write. What happened in that meeting for me today? What went on for me? Putting pen to paper can sometimes help us slow down and process.

I am not proposing that this is the only way of developing Authentic Leadership but I do believe it is a great place to start. If there is one thing you give yourself in 2018, give your self the gift of self-reflection. It is my belief that investing these regular small amounts of time can help you navigate what 2018 will bring.

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