Mindful Leaders Know the Team

Mindful Leaders know the Team.

If you’re a leader I just want to challenge you for a moment, how well do you know your team? Do you know what makes them tick? What are their aspirations? What really motivates them? If we don't know our team well, then we will tend towards micromanagement. “I love to be micromanaged” said nobody ever. If we're not mindful of an individual’s agenda will end up with low engagement, and therefore low productivity. But, if we can connect with those around us, in a way that is authentic, and releases them into their passions and their desires, aligned to their talents we will create engagement and high productivity. Plus, you get to have a bit more fun in a more positive environment, whilst achieving a better commercial outcome. It's about leveraging the latent potential and collective experience of your team and growing commitment. "Individual commitment to a group effort; that is what makes a team work, a company work, a...

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Mindful Leaders Respect Partners

Mindful Leaders respect Partners. Organisations are complex systems that don't necessarily just sit in four walls. If we only think of our organisation in terms of those employed by us, then we are limiting our scope. The whole idea of organisations being a linear contained entity is rapidly being dissolved. Contractors, micro-contractors, broad ranging stakeholders, globalisation, hyper connectivity, and the digital revolution are all causing our organisations to become less distinct. Those that are embracing a multi-stakeholder view are doing well.   

If we don't have this perspective and focus on the short term, then whilst we may get some initial gain, in the long-term or even in the medium term, we're isolating ourselves, limiting relationship, and arguably diluting possible competitive advantage. Certainly, in the longer-term,...

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Mindful Leaders Understand Authority

Mindful Leaders understand Authority. We all, regardless of our roles, have people who are in authority over us; those we report to. Even when I was running 40 countries or leading a listed company, I had boards, their Chairs, Owners and shareholders to report to.  

If we don’t manage these relationships well, we end up with misaligned priorities, and misunderstood agendas. It results in low, or no trust, relationships can begin to polarise and productivity shuts down. 

When I say ‘manage’ those in authority, I really mean being cognisant of who they are, what they want and how they operate. It’s about being mindful rather than manipulative. When this is done well it results is clear alignment, and a growth in trust. You as the leader are then often given more empowerment, greater space, more...

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Mindful Leaders Know Their Strengths

Mindful leaders know their strengths. As leaders we are unique, we are individuals, we have certain strengths, things we are good at, and certain things that we're just not good at. If we are trying to be the perfect leader, we will ultimately fail. Being mindful of what we are good at, recognising that, being comfortable with that, allows us to operate in our strengths. If we don't do that, we will be in effective, or at least not as effective as we could be if we operated in our strengths. This also allows us to encourage others around us with difference strengths, to operate in theirs.  

What is your genius? What are you really really good at in your organisation? Understanding what our core strengths are, where our true value lies, can become pivotal in the way we set up our leadership structures. Focusing on our core genius and delegating as much as possible that which is not our core, is how we create...

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Mindful Leaders Know Their Capacity

Mindful leaders know their capacity. We should know what we're capable of and obviously what we're not capable of. We all have a level of capacity that if breached, at least lowers our operating potential, and at worst can lead to a dangerous cycle into stress and burnout. We're all capable of working hard for a certain amount of time. I work with some particularly strong-minded entrepreneurs have an incredible amount of resilience and strength, but even they have their limitations. If we're aware of our capacity we can manage it appropriately, which leads to long term effectiveness, consistency and sustainability.

It's good to be mindful of life’s seasons and the priorities that inevitably accompany them. Apparently, there are important things outside of work, or at least that’s what I’ve heard. I had 20 years of lots of travel and rescuing businesses, some in an incredibly distressed state, geographically spread and in need of urgent attention. Life was...

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Crisis Champions: Centre

Almost all of us have a set of values for our organisations; we all say our people are our most important asset. Which is a terrible saying. We should indeed manage assets, but we lead people. But it is only under pressure our true organisational values are exposed, as are our personal virtues. If they are true values and virtues they do not change due to circumstances. "Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to our eyes. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak; and at last some crisis shows what we have become"according to renowned scholar Brooke Foss Westcott

So what will we choose? Will we throw out our values because the pressure is on, or will we stay true to what is important to us and those around us? It’s a pivotal question for me because at its core, is a call that will determine the engagement of our stakeholders, and therefore ultimately the organisation’s sustainability.

A crisis is a test of...

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Mindful Leaders Are Present

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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...

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Mindful Leaders: An Introduction

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Today I'd like to talk about mindful leaders; this is the start of a new series. I want to explore why it is important for leaders to be mindful; mindful of themselves, mindful of others, and mindful of the environment they operate in. Matt Tenney described a simple mantra for inspiring, effective, mindful leadership: “Cultivate peace of mind and go about doing good.”

If we as leaders go about our business not being mindful of ourselves, others, and the environment, we are operating on assumptions that are not necessarily true. Whilst most of us don't deliberately ignore what is happening around us, or even within ourselves, our busy lives, deadlines and the inevitable see of emails , DMs and calls, make us so reactive, that we don't take time to consider the ramifications of our actions. This can manifest in us not managing ourselves well, the misunderstanding of others, and a failure to see the environment shifting and changing which it is inevitably...

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Sustainable Leaders Reflect Regularly

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Sustainable leaders reflect regularly. I am challenging myself today as much as I hope I'm challenging you. There is definitely power in taking the time to reflect on how effective we are or have been. However, the discipline to do so has somewhat eluded me over the years. Like all of us I am still on a leadership journey and this area is one that I'm wanting to improve in.

This I do know. It's healthy to stop and pause as we've discussed previously, but it's even better to stop pause and reflect. At the centre of this reflection is taking the time to ask yourself the pertinent questions. This is not about self-reflection with a critical spirit. That can be a minefield for those of us who lean towards a desire for perfection, which can lead to paralysis by analysis. I'm talking about a balanced time of self-reflection. That’s where we assess what went well and what didn't go well, and what we could put in place to improve. We're all on an...

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Sustainable Leaders Find Space

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Sustainable leaders find space. Do you feel like you are always working working working, with little or underwhelming fruit? Does your workday leave you feeling tired, ineffective and unfulfilled? This is actually very common in leaders and their teams. Sometimes we have to slow down to speed up; and build some white space into our hectic schedules. But finding that space is sometimes quite difficult.

We are not wired for a sprint; we're built for a marathon. Like all good runners we have to pace ourselves if we want to win. As the great piece of racing advice says, "to finish first, first you have to finish".

Our physiology is built so that under stress we operate closer to the 'fight or flight' part of our brain, further down the brain stem. We stop operating effectively in the frontal cortex, where our ideas, creativity and higher thoughts are active. This is why we have great ideas and an almost constant stream of schemes and dreams, once we've relaxed on...

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