Sunday, July 31, 2011

90 Days of Assertions

90 Days of AssertionsThree months ago I began the daily ritual of recording my assertions in a notebook. By logging your assertions for a 90 day period you’ll gain insight into what you know and what you don’t know.

Since I’ve been going through several changes in my life that have caused me to second guess many of my assumptions, this seemed like a good time to test myself.

Those who have worked with me know that I’m not shy about admitting what I don’t know. Those who have lived with me know I’m not shy about sharing what I think I know and as endearing as I may like to think that trait is, I reluctantly acknowledge it flirts with arrogance.

The point of this exercise, besides reinforcing the discipline of writing everyday, is to evaluate which assertions were correct and which were wrong.

The scope of my assertions were fairly broad. Family and business issues shared space with political and sports predictions. My recent analysis showed I was no better or worse in one area than another. With 90 days of data I learned that 56% of my assertions were correct, 25% were incorrect and 19% are pending resolution.

This filled me with a sense of pride and confidence. To know my instinctual assertions on a variety of subjects are correct well over 50% of the time (and closer to 69% if I ignore the pending assertions) is very me...and probably only me. You see, most others still don’t really care because being a person who is often right doesn’t hold a candle to the one who is most often kind. The lesson is to endeavor to frequently be both, right and kind.

Try this exercise yourself. Record your assertions everyday for 90 days. You’ll learn what you feel confident asserting your opinion about and how often you’re right. You’ll learn who influences your assertions and what kind of influence you have on various outcomes. You will learn something about yourself, and that’s what should happen when you reflect on leadership.

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