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Keeping a leadership journal is a powerful exercise for anyone committed to leadership development. Taking time to write down your observations, thoughts, questions and aspirations in a journal is often overlooked by aspiring leaders because the act of sitting down and putting pen to paper has become a lost art.
Leadership journals are a tool that leaders use to document their experience along their leadership development and personal growth journey.
The practice of keeping a leadership journal serves several important purposes. Keeping a journal provides time for personal reflection. Your journal provides you the space to ponder key lessons learned and the opportunity to fine-tune and solidify your values and personal belief system.
Leaders who create a habit of maintaining a journal for leadership development will enjoy going back year after year to remind themselves just how far they have advanced since beginning their leadership journey.
Your leadership journals will capture important historic lessons learned throughout your life. Past journal entries will remind you of how much more effectively you serve your team and how much has been achieved, which will further encourage you to continue to learn and grow as a leader.
Renowned leadership speaker and best selling author, Dr. John C. Maxwell often advocates the practice of keeping a leadership journal. Dr. Maxwell refers to his journal as his leadership companion. He often describes how he carries his companion with him at all times to ensure he doesn't miss jotting down any important kernels of knowledge that might help him be a better leader.
"In Africa it doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you'd better be running." (Leaders can relate!)
- Christopher McDougall
A journal is a place where you can keep creative ideas, questions for future follow-up, personal/professional goals and commitments for your future growth. There are no hard and fast rules to go by - how you choose to use your leadership journal is up to you.
Maintaining a leadership development journal has exponential rewards. You'll definitely get back from the process multi-fold what you put into it. One of the greatest benefits of making daily journal entries, however trivial – is that it provides a few moments for the author to simply think and reflect.
Leaders who go back and review their past entries come to realize over time that those entries of years past, actually predicted their present day experience.
We also love the fact that leadership journals are very affordable. A journal, companion, diary - whatever term you choose to use - may only consist of a simple spiral notebook and a pen or pencil. Some leaders choose to invest in higher quality, which are quite nice - but these are totally optional. A few recommended products are provided below for your convenience.
So get started today – Write, Think, Learn, and Grow!
- Joel Barker, Futurist
Dr. John C. Maxwell’s best-seller, Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work is a great book to read on the subject of self reflection and planning for a successful future. In this audio book Dr. Maxwell speaks in depth about the importance of setting time aside to be alone with your own thoughts. This book is highly recommended as it provides a great way to get started on a leadership journal. In addition, we believe the following selections will help to inspire you in this process.
For the serious student of life and living. Jim Rohn says a life worth living is a life worth recording.
Keeping a journal is so important that Rohn called it one of the three treasures to leave behind for the next generation. He claimed that journal writing is one of the greatest indications that you're a serious student.
These two items, the Jim Rohn leather-bound Leadership Journal and the exceptional audio MP3, How to Use a Journal, provide a powerful leadership tool. Rohn examines the endless usage and methods for keeping a journal, including what kind of journal is best, what to write about and much more.
Leaders need inspiration and encouragement too. A Leader's Heart is a 365 day devotional journal that will fuel your creativity and motivate you to stay on track with your leadership journal.
Written by John C. Maxwell, the leader of leaders, this is a great book that will get you off to a fantastic start in your leadership development.
Maxwell brings many of his winning concepts and scriptural meditations into a daily devotional / journal format, designed specifically for leaders. After each daily devotional there is ample space for writing your personal reflections.