Leadership development and a personal journal

October 17, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development is an intense personal experience. Leadership happens in public. But the most important part of leadership development happens in private.

The best leaders use their time alone to reflect on their experience on the job and in the classroom. Great leaders use their time alone to motivate themselves so they can handle the challenges and setbacks of the day and push through personal development barriers.

Leadership Development and Reflection

We like to say we learn from experience, but that’s not true. As John Dewey reminds us, “We do not learn from experience. We learn by reflecting on experience.”

Personal time alone to reflect, review, and decide how to do things differently should be the core of leadership development. A personal journal can anchor those activities.

Leadership Development and the Personal Journal

Every leader and aspiring leader should learn how to use a personal journal as the anchor of their personal development program. There are at least three ways you can do that.

Use your personal journal to reflect on your experience during the workday. In the morning, decide the most important things to do that day. In the evening, reflect on what you did and how well you achieved your goals.

Use your personal journal to reflect on training you received. Karin Hurt and David Dye suggest “Six Ways To Ensure Your Leadership Training Makes You A Better Leader.” Use their article as a guide to reflect on training you’ve received and how you will put it to work.

Use your personal journal as a motivational tool. The Harvard Business Review article, “How Self-Reflection Can Help Leaders Stay Motivated,” has ideas that will help.

If you already keep a personal journal, use it as the centerpiece of your leadership development. If you don’t keep a journal, now is a good time to start.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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