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INTROSPECTION – A Tool For Small Businesses

A Collection of Thoughts on Introspectionmediatate about your business


“The business person who takes no inventory soon becomes bankrupt” (1)

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.” (2)
The philosophy of the wisest man that ever existed, is mainly derived from the act of introspection. (3)

“To thine own self be true…” (4)

“The terrible fluidity of self-revelation.” (5)

Thinking About….Thinking

There is often a gap between our good intentions and our actual behavior.  Introspection is a tool to assess our behavior in light of what we intended. It is congruent intention and behavior that yields a positive impact.

In the rush to “get stuff done,” effective leaders prioritize their time to find themselves  – to examine themselves  – learning about what in them  helped shape the results they produced.

I have found that this examination is often not wonderful, but it is always worthwhile. The time spent in meditation, thinking about what I was thinking about when I did this or that, or said this or that, and then thinking about the response given that did not in any way match my intention, produces an inventory of my actions and attitudes that often need adjustment – the kind of change that offers hope to those I’m leading that I’m learning.

It was the poet Robert Burns who noted this difficulty of self-awareness while driving the point that we must learn to “see ourselves as others see us.“

Here are just a few of the questions I have found useful in that exercise:

  • What is my purpose in life? (One must always start at the start!)
  • Did this situation (I’m thinking about) help develop or destroy my purpose? What needs to change?
  • Who was hurt, who was helped by what I did? What do I need to do to heal the hurt?
  • Is my tone and expression supporting my words? Or is it at odds with my words?  What needs to change in me for congruence between thinking and talking?

Small business leaders, especially those claiming to be serving leaders must develop the ability to withdraw – to see the important distinguished from the urgent and to ask, “How can I better serve those following?”

We all change. We grow when we learn from the results we produce. That’s why this introspection if vital – there is fluidity to life and we must know the direction and speed at which we are moving.

 In this fast-moving, always connected world, do you take the time “away” to disconnect from others and reconnect with yourself?


Copyright ©2012 by P. Griffith Lindell

(1) Anonymous; (2) Rollo May, Man’s Search For Himself;  (3) William Godwin;  (4) Shakespeare’s words for Polonius given to his son, Laertes, before he traveled away from home; (5) Henry James


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