The Questions I Ask Myself

I was recently asked by some of my students to share with them the questions I ask myself when I self-reflect. I have summarized the questions in two lists. The first list is the “Annual Self Reflection Questions” that I focus on once a year during my three-day silent retreats in Minnesota each December. The second list is my “Daily Self Examination Questions” for each evening:

Annual Self Reflection Questions

  1. What are my values?
  2. What do I stand for?
  3. What is my purpose?
  4. What really matters?
  5. How would I react if I was told I only had five days left to live?
  6. What kind of a leader do I want to be?
  7. What kind of a example do I want to be for others?

Daily Self Examination Questions

  1. What did I say I was going to do today in all dimensions of my life?
  2. What did I actually do today?
  3. What am I proud of?
  4. What am I not proud of?
  5. How did I lead people?
  6. How did I follow people?
  7. If I lived today over again, what would I have done differently?
  8. If I have tomorrow (and I am acutely aware that some day I won’t) and I am a learning person, based on what I learned today, what will I do tomorrow in all dimensions of my life that are important (as a father, as a leader, as a son, as a spouse, as a spiritual person, etc.)?


  • Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Prof Kraemer!


  • Daven Morrison MD


    These questions are outstanding, but more importantly, or perhaps in my opinion!), is the fact that you practice reflecting on them in such a disciplined way.

    If there were more leaders who did (full credit to those KSM students who complete your class and make this a habit!) we’d have a lot less Enron’s, LIBOR rate rigging scandals and Atlantic Public School grade frauds!




  • Thank you Prof Kraemer


  • Harry,

    Thanks for your “opinions” on the topic of leadership. I realize that I need to take more time with self-reflection and understanding what happened and where I am going. Strikes me that daily course corrections are far more valuable than huge shifts done periodically. I might name your reflection methodology as “My Daily Compass.”. I am curious, however, if there is a spiritual or faith based underpinning to your world view that drives your values. You mentioned that you started at a Jesuit retreat.

    Thank you again for sharing your story.


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