The Power of a Pocket Notebook

| | Personal Leadership
The Power of a Pocket Notebook

Mark Miller’s desire to encourage and equip leaders has taken him around the globe. His writing has reached around the world as well. Today’s post is just a glimpse of all the wisdom he has to offer on the topic of developing and nurturing great leaders!

I think I know something about you. This may seem like a bold statement, but I stand by it. If you are a leader, I know you want to make a difference in the world. Am I right?

That’s my desire — to steward my one life well and leave the planet a better place than when I arrived. One of my strategies over the years has been to study what successful, high-impact, influential people have done.

To be successful, study success.

On my journey, I’ve noticed something…

Mark Twain, Pablo Picasso, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, George Lucas, J.D. Rockefeller, and Leonardo da Vinci — to name a few — all used a personal pocket notebook. Curious.

What would drive these influential people, who lived across hundreds of years, to gravitate toward the same personal practice?

Although I never had a chance to talk to any of these famous people, I can speculate regarding the benefits they derived from their notebooks. My hunches are informed by my own effort to cultivate this habit.

I believe the primary benefit from keeping a personal notebook is this:

Putting ideas on paper, even digital paper, allows you to capture them before they escape. tweet this

Ideas and insights are often like the fog on a cold morning – here for a moment and then gone in an instant. Capture them — don’t lose them!

My encouragement to you is to try it… start today.

You may be wondering: what do I write in my notebook? Capture ideas, questions, quotes, plans, lists, hunches, sketches, doodles, and anything else you want. It is your notebook — yours alone.

Who knows: a hundred years from now, someone may be writing a blog post about habits of influential people and add your name to the list!


Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.  



Image credit: Unsplash


Enter A Comment

Roz L   |   15 March 2017   |   Reply

Great stuff Mark I recently been keeping a personal notebook and found it way more useful than a digital one and found myself looking back on what I wrote more than when I had a digital notebook.

Mark Miller   |   03 April 2017   |   Reply

Roz L-
Thank you for the kind words. I prefer an old school paper notebook, too. It’s a critical tool for leaders.

Joshua Jarvis   |   21 March 2017   |   Reply

Take notes and ask questions. Great advice – we all lead someone whether we want to or not. To be more successful in this endeavor we need to study other successful leaders. That’s why I’m here reading this.

Mark Miller   |   03 April 2017   |   Reply

I’m so happy you picked up some ideas from the blog post. Constantly learning is a key skill for all leaders. Looks like you are well on the path.