Mindful leaders are present, they are aware of what is happening right now. They are in the moment. Have you ever talked to someone and it's like there is no one else in the room, and you know you have their undivided attention? That is what I mean by being present, in the moment self-aware, deeply aware of others and the environment.
When we are rushing around in a sea of busyness or even looking too far into the future, we are less engaging, we don't connect fully, and we lose something in the relationships with those around us. If we operate like this, the most we can get from our team, is compliance not commitment.
However, if we are present, self-aware enough to quiet the busyness inside, mindful enough of our emotions and state of mind, we can operate at a whole new level. We can be infinitely more effective, definitely more motivational, and certainly have more insights. We also create better connections and can experience being more centred and more at peace.
The ultimate expression of this for me is being our true authentic selves. We are all created unique with different talents, abilities, characters, and strengths. The closer we are to our authentic selves the more effective we will be. Bill George, is a Professor of Management Practice at Harvard, he said this; “Authentic leaders are genuine in their intentions and understand the purpose of their leadership is serving their customers, employees and investors, not their self-interest.” I believe that this perspective is not just a nice to have, it's a road to sustainable commercial success.
At the core of being authentic is knowing and understanding yourself. “The kind of perspective that brings focus and clarity comes from space. And while we may not always have a choice about clearing our calendars, we can make the choice to clear our minds of the habitual momentum that blocks creativity and compassion.” Said Janice Marturano, and I agree. Finding a centred place of peace allows us to engage in a more authentic manner, think more clearly, and get a better outcome. I've lost count of the times I felt a bit overwhelmed by the challenges, down tools and just went for a walk, a quiet time, found some space, recentered, and come back with a clearer sense of what's important, hope in the situation and often a fresh perspective and insight that I wouldn't have got in a stressed mindset.
If we are truly present for others, I think it garners respect. Remembering the little things and the people who may have roles that are different to ours, and sometimes seen as not as important, goes a long way, and people remember. We all need a word of encouragement from time to time, particularly in a tough environment. When that comes from someone in authority it holds more weight. When that someone has taken the time to say thanks or well done, or I really appreciate what you do for us, it has gravitas. Tim Ryan points out, “It seems to me it would do us all good to act from our heart more often. We’ll be surprised how small acts of attention and kindness can release the energy, enthusiasm, and imagination bottled up in our [over-stressed] minds and bodies.” So true.