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Looking back: A leadership requirement or a waste of time?

By Julious P. Smith Jr, Chair Emeritus, Williams Mullen

23 May 2014

Country music singer Mac Davis has extolled the virtues of “looking at Lubbock, Texas in his rear view mirror”. On the other hand, Satchel Page, a famous American baseball pitcher, said “the only way you ever walk into a wall is by looking backwards”. So, if you are a good leader, how much time do you spend reflecting on what could have been?
Do you look back, analyse your decisions, see what you did right, what you did wrong and use that as a base going forward,
or do you just go on to the next decision?

The short answer is that replays, while good for sports, bring little (if any) value in real life. After a leader makes a decision, he should live with it and move on to his next challenge. Examining and re-evaluating decisions already made adds little to the leader’s statue or his ability to lead. In fact, in ...

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