The existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” This insight raises a profound paradox — and challenge — for those who lead. Focusing on the constant demands of the present moment and the future can keep you from fully learning from what you’ve done in the past. An inability to reflect wastes experience, leaving its value only partially harvested.
As I write, there have been more than 11.4 million COVID-19 cases worldwide, causing more than 534,000 deaths. Unlike most crises that arise and fade away quickly, COVID-19 is persisting and is expected to resurge later in the year. And many experts think the second wave could be more severe than the first. It’s important for leaders to take the time now to contemplate what has and hasn’t worked during this first series of outbreaks in order to lessen the