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Renew your strengths while reminiscing

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Were you a leader in your teenage years? What did people think about you then?

Your high school yearbook provides a virtual “time capsule” that can tell you. Pull it off the shelf and analyze the information it contains by following these steps:

  1. List your activities in sports, student government, clubs, etc. Then reconstruct the story behind each. Did you rise to class president by giving a good speech, by building consensus or something else? Or did you direct your senior play? If so, you showed strong supervisory skills back then.

  2. Read the comments your classmates wrote. You’ll have to wade through lots of nonsense, but some comments will be useful. List the positive traits people cited: your positive attitude, intelligence, smile ... whatever.

  3. Decide whether you’re still capitalizing on the abilities you pinpointed in steps 1 and 2. If not, find ways to start them working for you now.

  4. List any leadership anxieties you uncovered as you worked through steps 1, 2 and 3 above. Were you shy in high school, for example? Were you afraid to take risks? If so, consider how far you’ve come in those areas and decide if you still have room to improve.

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