The reflective journal is designed to encourage you to use your own experiences to reflect on theories and concepts relevant to management, and on how these relate to your own values, assumptions and behaviour. It helps you to ‘own’ your part of the work environment. You are free to choose what to examine in this journal. Reflection is incorporated in many executive leadership development programmes. Warren Bennis, a renowned leadership scholar, stated: ‘There are lessons in everything, and if you are fully deployed, you will learn most of them. Experiences aren’t truly yours until you think about them, analyse them, examine them, question them, reflect on them, and finally understand them. The point, once again, is to use your experiences rather than being used by them, to be the designer, not the design, so that experiences empower rather than imprison’ (Bennis, 2009 p. 92). As managers, you will have to grapple with the complexity of daily challenges by continuously taking small actions to learn more about the nature of the problem (and your own strengths and weaknesses) and how progress can be made. The reflective journal method assists you in developing this skill by guiding you through a step‐by‐step process in which you: 1. Identify a topic which is challenging and important for you 2. Seek new information and inspiration from others to solve these key problems 3. Formulate action plans 4. Take action 5. Reflect on lessons and adjust Reflection involves learning by examining: What we think happened How we think others perceived the event (and us) Opening our actions to scrutiny by others Using models, theories, texts to gain insight Exploring different angles (place, timing, causality, etc.) It involves attempting to relive who said and did what, how, when, where, and why – looking for insights, missed details, learnings. It can lead us to question our own attitudes, thought processes, values, assumptions, prejudices and habitual actions as we strive to understand our complex roles in relation to others, and as we become more aware of the limits of our knowledge. Through this process, you are pushed into your zone of proximal development. By seeking to explore limitations in your current way of operating, you are forced to stretch and grow.