Beware all you journal writing enthusiasts. You might just get such clarity and independence of thought through your reflective writing practice that people begin to turn to you for your advice and wisdom. They might even begin to nominate you as a leader in their cause.
This is because once you develop a journaling practice of your own you will be engaging in such powerful conversations with yourself that you will discover great truths and inner resources you never knew you had. Plus you’ll be able to articulate your thoughts and feelings about issues that are important to you because you will have practised doing so in your journal.
An important asset of a respected leader is integrity. In whatever context, be it work, community or personal, we want to be able to gain the trust of those around us. By taking up our journals and documenting our points of view over a period of time we begin to see our own thread of integrity running through all the things we bother to write about. We get to know very clearly what our views are, and we see how we must live in order to be true to our innermost moral compass.
Another valuable asset of our journal writing practice is that, honestly done, it enables us to recognise and accept our vulnerabilities. The journaling space is safe in that it is for our eyes only. We don’t need to protect our delicate ego in this place, and we can have a rest from bigging ourselves up. With the pressure off we can take a genuine look at ourselves and treat ourselves gently, without beating ourselves up about this or that perceived weakness. A great leader is aware of their vulnerable side, and, crucially, is not afraid to show it.
Thirdly a great leader is aware of themselves and others. They are able to reflect on their own impact and on the reasons why others might behave in certain ways. This can lead to great magnanimity and tolerance, vital attributes of the best leaders, and key enablers in the practice of servant leadership.
If you’re not already a leader, be prepared to become one. If you are already a leader, don’t be surprised if your style changes once you’ve been journaling for a while.