Anish Kapoor Sky Light at Nottingham

Alan Smith & Peter Shaw provide some helpful advice about the importance of reflection in The Reflective Leader. They remind us that the “greatest sea changes that have come about in human history have been rooted in reflection”.

They list six principles:

  1. Record first impressions, thoughts and reflections systematically, particularly when we are new to a situation.
  2. Reflect when things are going well. I suppose that we are not defensive at that point.
  3. Prepare for times of reflection. We need as much data and information as possible (there’s never too much information!) including comments and feedback from others.
  4. Ask questions. Curiosity is essential for reflection.
  5. Seek out those who are gifted at reflection, then nurture this gift in them, then tell others about them to encourage a culture of reflection.
  6. Bridgewater Canal, Warrington
    Reflecting on the Bridgewater Canal near Warrington
  7. Reflect regularly. It’s hard work but gets easier with practice.
My response:
  1. Go easy.
  2. Shower longer.
  3. Use feedback.
  4. Use ripples.
  5. Welcome surprise.
  6. Be prepared to change – all the time.

>Wizard Day Out


I am becoming fascinated by our canals. Our local canal – the Shropshire Union – protects some of our local natural beauty and I have been enjoying running the towpath through Stoak and Croughton by Ellesmere Port.

Our half term outing was on a hired barge along the Bridgewater Canal courtesy of three volunteers who crew the Wizard for the Disability Partnership.

This is a wonderful facility which I hope escapes the cutbacks in social services.

I remember people talking to me about their families walking the Shropshire Union Canal in search of work – walking all the way from Wolverhampton till they found work in Ellesmere Port. I wonder how many times they had stopped off on the way to ask potential employers if they had any work.