The Unknown Tool for Your Growth and Leadership

How do you grow in your career, as a leader, in your role? You have more challenges, and options, then ever before that can spur your growth, given the rise of Agile, and the business world’s VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity). Just as there is a case for change for corporations, those buildings are full of people who each have a case for change themselves.

journaling scrum master change agent self awarenessI asked a group of senior agilists in a recent Advanced Scrum Master class (especially relevant, since they are change agents often helping to lead organizational change and even redesign), about journaling. The topic we were on was leadership and coaching, and a key to both is self-awareness. In my experience, journaling was a vital instrument in my self-awareness. And I was cautioning this high-level group about the danger of thinking you are helping others when you don’t even see your own shortcomings. I know a number of agile coaches who, despite having significant knowledge, are ineffective primarily for this very reason. And these people don’t realize how many of those around them know this, but don’t share because it won’t be received.

The fable of the Emperor ‘s New Clothes has a leader at the center for this very reason…

Many either don’t know about journaling, or think they know yet don’t know the power of it. In the class I mentioned, a show of hands reflected the same, and that’s why I’m writing this now. I think everyone should journal, but especially leaders and change agents.

journaling scrum master change agent self awareness
I encourage you to run an experiment: 1) Do Something, then 2) Inspect and Adapt.

Given how easy it is to try with apps and planners, I encourage you to run an experiment and 1) Do Something, then 2) Inspect and Adapt. I’ve tried a lot of different apps and physical journals. What works for me is a light, daily touch and mood tracking with Stigma Mood Tracker, paired with some longer reflection time with a physical journal (currently trying out Full Focus Journal).

If you’d like to learn a little more before committing, the Wall Street Journal wrote a nice, personal piece describing the experience in What’s All This About Journaling?, and Harvard Business Review wrote of the value to leaders in Want to Be an Outstanding Leader? Keep a Journal. Besides my recommendation, here’s another nice list of journaling apps. Personally, journaling was a tremendous help as I dealt with and processed the ethics issues with ex-employee Brett Palmer.

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