Lost in the Mirror

The purpose of self-reflection is finding the capacity to bring your best self to challenges and opportunities, not self-obsession.

Find yourself to lose yourself.

Who you are defines how you serve best.

find yourself to lose yourself


A keen sense of identity allows you to relax and forget yourself. But, when you don’t know who you are, you obsess about what others think of you.

You can’t lead effectively when you’re obsessed with yourself.

Lost in the mirror:

My wife and I spent a day relaxing after I finished an engagement with the Department of the Navy in National Harbor, Maryland. Before lunch, we caught the water taxi to Alexandria, Virginia.

I lost myself in an ice cream shop mirror on King St. in Alexandria. The shop bubbled with gawker’s anticipation. There’s something exciting about paying too much for a sweet treat. Maybe it’s the feeling of “I’m worth it”.

The mirrored wall to our right reflected happy young people with plastic spoons. That’s when the strangest thing happened. I caught a glimpse of a person in the mirror and, after a moment, it hit me. I was looking at myself.

Two questions:

Servant leaders answer two fundamental questions.

  • Who is your best self? (Look in the mirror.)
  • How can you bring the most value? (Get lost in service.)

You live in a small universe if it’s all about you. The meaning of self-reflection, self-development, and self-compassion is found in serving others, not self-service.

You can’t bring your best self to opportunities and challenges until you identify and develop your best self.

Spend time in self-reflection so you can get lost in bringing value to others. 

When does thinking about yourself hinder/help leadership?