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Leadership Journal Exercise

  • 1. What went well in your experiment?
  • 2. What did not go well or had unintended consequences?
  • 3. If you had to complete the experiment again, what would you do differently?
  • 4. What would you recommend, as a mentor, to others doing similar projects?

Now consider what you learned about yourself. Perform the following free-writing exercise:

  • 1. On a clean page in your Leadership Journal, write the phase “If I could change one thing about myself ...”
  • 2. Complete the phrase and write non-stop for five minutes.
  • 3. After five minutes, take a 10-minute walk.
  • 4. Come back and read what you wrote. How do you feel about what you wrote?

Think about these things and consult with your mentor. Put a plan together and repeat the Self-Leadership Cycle. Over time, and with effort, you will become comfortable with leadership. You will build neural pathways that you can traverse during your next leadership challenge.

Like Tony in the “Things are Changing” use case, you can use self-talk to change your mindset, to don a leadership mindset, and to take on a leadership role with confidence. You can make a commitment to becoming a leader, to learning the discipline of leadership, to finding and trusting a mentor to guide you along the way, to engaging in leadership experiments, and to reviewing and analyzing your progress toward reaching your IT geek leadership goals. I’m a geek who overcame my communications weakness and embarked on a leadership journey. I’ve stumbled, but I’ve also found success. If I can find a leadership mindset that fits me, I’m sure you can find one that fits you.

Now that you understand more about self-leadership, let’s move on to Chapter 5, where we will discuss what it means to be an effective follower and the relationship between effective leadership and effective followership.

Developing Your Leadership Mindset

The exercise below steps you through the Self-Leadership Cycle presented in this chapter in a manner that can help you develop a leadership mindset.

  • 1. Take the Leadership Questionnaire at the end of Chapter 2.
  • 2. In your Leadership Journal, list the areas in which you rated yourself with a 2 or below.
  • 3. For each item you listed in Step 2:
    • • Visualize yourself performing the task in a way that you would rate yourself a 3 or 4. Imagine how you would feel if you were to be successful at it.
    • • Listen for poisonous self-talk concerning these items. What do you need to change in order to improve your self-image for performing this task?
    • • Write down a constructive self-talk sentence for the item you need to change. Recite your new, positive self-talk every morning and every evening in the mirror. Record it and play it back to yourself each day.
  • 4. Research what you need to learn in order to be successful in any area you listed in Step 2. What books can you read? What projects do you need to research at work? Who do you need to talk to at work who can help you understand the business goals and objectives and how they relate to your project? Create constructive self-talk for the areas in which you are working to improve.
  • 5. Identify someone you trust at school, work, or your PMI® chapter who is successful at the tasks with which you need help. Seek out this person as a mentor. Ask him or her to help you refine your plan to improve in the areas in which you are challenged.
  • 6. Identify opportunities to implement your new knowledge and initiatives on your project.
  • 7. Speak with your mentor about your experience and plan your next iteration.
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