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October 14, 2005

Excerpts: Resonant Leadership - Part V

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 10:40 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture


Resonant Leadership Exercise: Rhythms in My Life

On a sheet of paper, write the current year at the top of the left-hand side of the page. Underneath it, write the years in descending order from this year all the way back to when you were born. Next to any of the years, write any event or experience that you considered at the time or now consider to have been important in your life. The years are listed as a memory aid; it is not necessary to write something into each year. Possible categories reflecting aspects of life to consider in completing this list are: physical or personal health events (e.g., turning 50, surgery); relationship events (e.g., marriage, birth of a child, divorce); spiritual (e.g., finding and joining a church, temple mosque); emotional (e.g., death of a parent, a vacation or trip that opened a new horizon in life); intellectual (e.g., a book that inspired a new way of looking at life); financial (e.g., being laid off, achieving a major financial goal); avocational, such as hobbies, interests, or sports (e.g., shooting under 80 at golf, writing a song that was recorded, skydiving); and so forth. But they should be important events in your life.

A hint about this form: most people find that in completing this form, they do not follow a logical time sequence as they did for the career history. In other words, you may remember or think of a major event that occurred ten years ago that reminds you of something that happened earlier and another event that happened more recently. Feel free to add items to this list in whatever order works for you. It may require several sessions in which you reflect on your life and think about the events mentioned on this list. Do not feel constrained by the space provided for any given year. Use additional paper to add items for particular years. Most people find it useful to note items going back to their twenties, but some find it important to go back further. Add more years if necessary.

Look at the number of years between major life events. Is there a rhythm to when you feel the need for a change or when changes seem to occur? If so, where are you in the current rhythm and when should you listen for a wake-up call?

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.