Do You Have a Black Book?

Accountability Personal leadership Productivity


For the last 20 plus years I’ve carried a Black and Red notebook with me daily. Why? I make a point, at every meeting or interaction, of highlighting key listening points. I often mind map the comments, collecting them into a system of connected points. This helps me remember, recall, and really focus on the conversation in a robust and meaningful way. Rarely a day goes by without me referring to notes from one or more of these meetings.  I have hundred’s of archived notebooks.

Listening and journaling go hand in hand. If we’re going to live the Character Triangle it is important to capture the viewpoints of others and to specifically note commitments made (especially ours). So I highly recommend using a book to keep a record of our transcripts (an analogue version). If you are more digitally inclined the iPad is a great tool too. This may replace my Black and Red.

One final note: at the end of each day, write down how we “moved the ball down the field.” What progress, however small, did we accomplish? This simple but habitual journal entry will give us a sense of accomplishment. Also it is beneficial to write down one example of where we’ve applied the Character Triangle too. This way, cultural development and character development growth together.

At the end of reasonable milestones, we can review our progress. The little stuff ends up being momentum.

Do you have a black book? Start now. Get one.

with Character,