It's helpful to occasionally take a step back and look at your career highlights. We refer to this as a leadership journey. To start, a leadership journey should be distilled to just those events that hold the greatest meaning. These moments can be either "negative" or "positive". You may find that your leadership journey changes as you gain new perspectives throughout your career and life experiences. And that's okay.
For example, in 2011 my leadership journey looked like this:
Today, I would start my leadership journey at the "DataMap" point. But the overview looks the same. And I still find that my leadership journey has the most to say when I focus just on the peaks and valleys. These are the points at which I've learned something, through either a strongly positive or negative experience.
I generally encourage everyone to learn something, no matter where they are. Looking back over my career, I've worked with several different organizations. I can say that I have come out each company with a new experience. For example:
My first job was with a small geographics company, where I was the Unix systems administrator. I had a great supervisor; from him, I learned how to step back from a problem and plan my mistake strategy. Generally, no problem is unique. Even if you've just committed a huge blunder, chances are that someone else has done the same thing before. So take a breath, focus, and think about what you're going to do next before doing it.
My second job was at a small information management company owned by a law firm. I was the IT manager, reporting to the vice president of technology. I didn't get along very well with him; he was a bad boss. Even though we didn't see eye to eye, I learned quite a lot from him about how to do successful, in-depth interviews. So there's that.
After the law firm company, I moved moved to the University of Minnesota, in the first U of M Web Team. The director I worked for was a great mentor, and by watching him I learned the art of politics. (It is no surprise that he has since moved into politics, and now lives in Washington, D.C.)
As I've moved to other areas in the University, I have tried to learn (either directly or indirectly) from those around me. For example, before I joined the Morris campus, I was a senior manager in the Office of Information Technology. Through my director, I picked up some useful tips about project management and planning. And indirectly - I observed some counterexamples of how not to build teams; let's just say that this was not one of his strengths.
I encourage you to take some time out, and reflect on the key events that taught you the most about leadership. You can learn a lot about yourself by doing a leadership journey. The experience is wasted if you don't take away something from each step of your personal journey. What are the lessons you've learned? How will you use these to further develop yourself?