How Journaling Can Improve Leadership

“Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. After you become a leader success is all about growing others.”

 – Jack Welch, CEO, General Electric

It’s been well known that a focus on self-reflection often results in positive self-improvement. This sort of reflection can mean different things for different people. Journaling is often seen as a tool of meditation or self-reflection, but not necessarily as a tool for bettering your leadership. Of course, any self-betterment tool can lead to growth, but journaling specifically may be one of your most essential devices in enhancing your leadership capabilities.

Journaling can come in a number of forms. To “journal” does not have to mean crouching over pen and paper and chronicling everything you did the previous day. While some studies do show better retention comes from writing things on paper, journaling digitally or by other means is perfectly fine. The main objective should be introspection and exploration, and for most, typing quickly on a computer can allow us to get our thoughts down with greater efficiency.

This is where the core of the exercise of journaling comes into play, simply transmitting your thoughts and reflections onto another form. Being able to write down and read through your interpretation of the day’s actions or clouded thoughts you might’ve been having allows you to gain a whole other perspective that otherwise would not have been achieved. When problems arise that you can’t see through clearly, journaling provides you the opportunity to take a step back and look at everything with a clearer mind.

Even though much of your growth as a leader may come from recounting your day to day via journal, treating the journal as a simple exercise can be equally effective. This can come in the form of responding to prewritten prompts designed to help you reflect or writing about your thoughts separate from the workplace. Whatever your method may be, simply dedicating time every day to spend time journaling will no doubt lead to significant growth as a person and a leader.

Kelly D. Scott
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization