Diary of a Leader vol. 3

Published on 27th April 2021

Mirror, mirror on the wall…


Last time you left me in an unenviable situation of making my kids learn how to appreciate their free time with less technical distractions. Hello Sisyphus! 😉

In the light of the Certified Agile Leadership Course I took recently, I was so inspired that I had to try and implement some of the newly acquired skills.😊

To my kids, I want to be a good role model, a leader of change. To do that, I needed to change myself, which is always more or less challenging, but I had solid motives so it couldn’t be that difficult, right?

When it came to my children, it took a lot of persuasion, negotiation and compromise to reach the point where we can say that we share a common goal.😊

I used praise, a reward system, patience and a lot of explanation so that they can understand why is it important to have rich and healthy free time, in addition to tech devoted time that I believe also deserves to exist.

I’m aware that this is constant work, especially in this digital era, but we’ve laid a good foundation and we will go from there – step by step, day by day.


For an Agile Leader, it is always good to have an open mind and a desire to improve


…so I saw a new challenge on the horizon.

My husband and I have struggled a lot with how to influence on our boys to have good relationship with one another. They are bickering constantly, and it was a good opportunity to help them explore other options.

So, once we defined the area that needs improvement, we decided to visualize our goal – to have our children have a supportive and caring relationship with each other or to put it simple –  to get along.

The next thing was to set a timeframe, let’s say a week for a first phase.

Each child needed to list 5 situations (one per each feeling) that make them feel angry, sad, happy, disappointed and accepted by the actions of the other one.

Most of us react to a situation immediately, without taking time to think about the results of our actions. With our children, we decided to introduce some role-playing to practice the skill of stopping and thinking in different situations. Our goal was to encourage our children to stop and think before reacting. We also wanted them to learn to observe their behaviour and to take responsibility for their actions. So we used reflection.


Reflection is the most important tool for becoming a good or great leader


Reflection is what a mirror does. A mirror can show us in most cases where the real problem lies and it shows us the only thing that we can really change in life – ourselves.  So, by seeing themselves in the other one and observing their behaviour and reactions in others can lead them to really want to change something and work on themselves.

After several phases – denial, exaggeration, anger, tears, laughter and acceptance they learnt on their own skin what effect their actions have on others and they really wanted to be better.

So, the next phase was to pick a behaviour they want to change and work on that. We named the feeling we want to change with a new feeling we want to create. For example, if my older son always get to choose a cartoon for a family movie night, it makes the younger one feel less worthy and neglected. We want to change that feeling to accepted and valued. So, the most important thing that a leader can ask themselves in this situation when something needs to be changed is – how did I create this, how can I take responsibility for this to fix it?

So, the change starts from us, from within, from introspection. Think about that the next time you are unhappy, moody, angry and just look in the mirror. The answers are there.


Jelena Milanović

Changing the world very often starts in ourselves by changing our perspectives and thoughts about each aspect of our life. The change is good and desirable. Leadership helps us to understand some crucial truths that are so valuable in modern business. If you wanna discover how leadership works join us on the upcoming Certified Agile Leadership Course (10th – 11th May) with exceptional Olaf Lewitz.

What do you say: when is the right time for a change?