Leadership Lessons from “The Man in the Glass”: The Power of Self-Reflection, Accountability, and Vulnerability in Business

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The Man in the Glass

When you reach your goal in the world of sports and you have worked the big game that day, just go to the mirror and look at yourself and see what the man has to say. or it isn’t your family or friends or the coaches whose judgment upon you must pass; the fellow whose verdict counts in your life is the one staring at you from the glass. You may fool all in the world down the avenue of years and get pats on the back as you pass, but your only reward will be remorse and regret, if you have cheated the man in the glass.

Self-reflection is a critical practice for effective leadership and professional growth. It involves looking inward and examining our thoughts, actions, and motivations as leaders. It requires us to be honest with ourselves, acknowledging both our strengths and areas for improvement. One poem that beautifully captures the essence of self-reflection for business leaders is “The Man in the Glass.” In this blog post, we will explore how self-reflection, accountability, and vulnerability are vital for leadership success in the business world.

The Man in the Glass” is a poem that resonates with the challenges and responsibilities of leadership. The narrator confronts his true self in the mirror, seeing both his admirable qualities and his flaws reflected back at him. The poem highlights the importance of being authentic as leaders and facing the truth, even when it is uncomfortable. It reminds us that effective leadership starts with self-awareness and self-reflection, as we cannot lead others if we are not in tune with ourselves.

In addition to self-reflection, accountability is crucial for leadership success in business. It involves taking ownership of our decisions and their consequences. Being accountable means recognizing that our choices impact our team, organization, and stakeholders, and being willing to accept responsibility for those choices. In “The Man in the Glass,” the narrator realizes that he cannot deceive the person in the mirror. He acknowledges his mistakes and takes accountability for his actions with humility. This emphasizes the importance of leaders being honest with themselves and taking ownership of their decisions and actions to foster trust and respect among their team.

Vulnerability is another essential element in leadership and business success. It requires the courage to be open and honest, even when it means acknowledging our vulnerabilities, fears, and limitations as leaders. It involves being authentic and transparent, which can build trust and rapport with our team and stakeholders. In “The Man in the Glass,” the narrator is vulnerable as he confronts his true self and acknowledges his flaws. This showcases how leaders who embrace vulnerability can create a culture of openness and learning, where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and feedback.

In conclusion, “The Man in the Glass” offers valuable leadership lessons on the power of self-reflection, accountability, and vulnerability in the business world. It highlights the importance of being authentic, holding ourselves accountable for our decisions and actions, and embracing vulnerability as leaders. By incorporating these practices into our leadership approach, we can foster personal and professional growth, build trust with our team, and create a positive and empowering work environment. So, let us reflect on the man or woman in the glass and strive to be authentic, accountable, and vulnerable leaders in our business endeavors.

Have I Cheated The Man in the Glass?


  • What actions or decisions have I taken in the workplace recently, and how do they align with my values, goals, and the overall vision of the organization? 
  • How have my actions and behaviors impacted my team, colleagues, and the work environment, and what could I have done differently to achieve a more positive outcome?


  • Have I taken ownership of my responsibilities and followed through on my commitments in the workplace? 
  • Have I been transparent and honest with my team and colleagues about my progress, challenges, and results in meeting my work-related goals and expectations?


  • What are my fears or concerns about being vulnerable in the workplace, and how are they influencing my behavior and interactions with others? 
  • In what ways can I open up and share more authentically with my team or colleagues, and how might that contribute to building trust, fostering collaboration, and improving communication in the workplace?


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