The Power of a Journal

I was in a leadership class within my last year at my former employer. The facilitator, a former army officer, recommended journaling to most of us at the top of the organization. He said it was a good way to organize your thoughts and gain perspective. I know that a few of my fellow managers tried this, but I did not.

However, I did start journaling in 2020 while on my sabbatical. I found it an excellent way to reflect on a day’s events and organize my thoughts. Sometimes I skip a day or two either out of laziness or because I felt the preceding days were uneventful. However, I am frequently proven wrong about how eventful the days were. The thoughts and moments from those days I dig up are sometimes the more revealing.

I wish I had journaled while I was managing people. I have since read that it is an important habit for leaders due to the truth of, “it’s lonely at the top.” When you manage a team, you are lucky and rare if you have a boss, or co-manager, that you can completely confide in. That is the place of the journal. Even if you are only talking to yourself, the important thing is that you are reflecting on your thoughts, actions, and conversations.

If my first bit of advice is to start journal. My second is to go deeper than recording actions. The true power of a journal is when you capture the thoughts behinds your actions. The “why’s” whether they be beliefs, emotions, or deductions.

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” – Socrates

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