Diary of a Leader Vol. 2

Published on 20th April 2021

I don’t know about you, but I like to see a representative of something promote what they represent. I’ll explain. How many times have you changed a dentist because they had bad teeth, or a nutritionist who was 15 pounds overweight, or you changed a hairdresser because their hair looked messy and neglected? Credibility is a very important thing, and a part of credibility is a visual representation of what you stand for.

I recently found myself in a role of a participant on a certified course, which was a new role for me because I am usually a host at these courses.

The course left me impressed or as many would say “fulfilled my expectations”, but after the course, I asked myself a question:


What now?


When you gain new knowledge that is not your primary business, if you’re not using it in practice, it is highly likely that you will forget it after some time. How do you gain experience and routine in something you don’t do regularly but don’t want to give up?

The course I’m talking about was the Certified Agile Leadership and I mentioned more about the course in my last text here. The course starts from the idea that we are all born leaders. Therefore, we all have an excellent starting point to put the acquired knowledge from training into practice, even if we do not use it in our jobs every day.

Another thing that is a part of the course is working on oneself. Each of us has the potential, abilities and skills to lead our own lives, even the lives of other people, such as parents who use their example to encourage, stimulate, help their children to become independent people. But as with any change, the first spark needs to starts from you. If you want to achieve something and you want others to follow you, you need to be the first one to switch the light for others to follow you, trust you because they see that you yourself believe in what you represent.

Since a family can be seen as a small team, I decided to apply what I learnt in my own backyard, so to speak. The first question I asked myself was:


What I want to achieve?


I want to be a good role model for my children and a person they will look up to and turn to when they have a challenge or when they want to share successes.

So, we go back to self-work. In order to be a role model for someone and to be able to expect someone to follow and share my vision and goals, I have to set an example myself. My first goal is for my kids to spend less time on their phones. Well, now comes the hard part. To explain to children that phones are not a substitute for socializing, playing and leisure, I should first stop using the phone myself for those purposes. The so-called Catch 22 😊 But I can do it (I guess). The first thing I did is to timebox the time spent on the phone – after work, I limited myself to use the phone no longer than an hour. Oh boy, I couldn’t believe how quickly an hour can pass! I must admit that I cheated several times with the words: “Just this one thing…”, but I had a clear goal, so there was no room for giving up. Stumbling is there to help us grow and empower us to go steadier on the way to the goal.

The next step was to stop using phones at the weekends. I crossed that step much easier because we usually spend weekends outside in nature.  So, since I tested the steps and stayed alive, I was ready for the next step – to gather the team, share my vision and to define our mutual steps together. I left that new challenge for the next week, so keep your fingers crossed, because every change first encounters resistance, rebellion and finally acceptance. See you at the finish line!


Jelena Milanović, Agile Serbia team