Becoming a Mindful Leader

In previous posts, I’ve explored the challenges we’ll face in the next 10, 20 or more years. Technology is eating the world and changing things at breakneck speed. That’s all fine, but we need the tools to keep up.

I believe that mindful leaders, their teams, and organizations will not only survive tomorrow’s changes, but thrive, because they’ll be equipped to connect on a human level with their customers, employees and partners.

What makes a mindful leader?

Remember that we’re mindful when we’re aware of what’s going on in and around us, able to accept it exactly as it is. When we’re at our best in this regard we have a deep understanding of our place in the world and don’t allow ourselves to be driven by forces outside of our control. And in the broader context of our team, we see where to direct our combined efforts, what strengths each of us has to help get there, and how best to motivate each person individually.

Mindful leaders are fully present, aware of themselves and their impact on others, and focused on achieving the goals of the team. They possess three key qualities:

    * Self-awareness
    * Awareness of others
    * Focus on what’s important

Self-awareness is our foundation, the basis for connecting deeply with others. It means understanding better what’s going on inside ourselves - our own thoughts and feelings, motivations and biases.

It takes a lifetime to master and never fully achieved because we never cease to change.

But we can begin to use our own self-awareness as a guide to understanding others more deeply and how our actions can actually impact them. We can use this to bring out the best in others.

And the whole time we improve our ability to focus — to pick out what is important, what is not important. To know where we’re headed as a team or where I need to direct my energy and time to make the greatest impact. 

Our mindfulness practice can get us there. If we're committed. If we’re dedicated to staying open to the unknown, the uncomfortable, the amazing and everything in between. That’s the path to becoming a great leader.