“In my experience, 99% of people in leadership roles don’t take notes,” writes Richard Branson in a recent LinkedIn post.
The note-taking connoisseur attributes some of his most successful companies to the simple act of jotting down a random, yet meaningful, moment that would have otherwise been lost. Perhaps that is why he was surprised to discover how so many people dismiss the art of note-taking.
“What’s more, males are less likely to take notes than their female counterparts,” Branson continues.
This observation aligns with Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s New York Times article, in which they explain that women are more likely to take on undervalued assignments — or do the “office housework” — such as scribing during a meeting.
This expectation clearly puts women at a disadvantage, but Branson also points out that by handing over the menial tasks, men lose out on an opportunity to grow and improve.
“Mentoring, training, and note-taking — these are wonderful development areas, which everyone, men and women alike, can greatly benefit from,” he explains.
But he says you shouldn’t just take notes for the sake of it. They need to be productive. “Go through your ideas and turn them into actionable and measurable goals,” Branson writes.
If the notebook and pen strategy worked for the English billionaire with over 400 companies, it could work for you, too. Bring a pad to your next meeting, and record the moments that could create great success.
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