02 Jun Approach challenges from a position of calmness
“Successful leaders are not strong through their hierarchical power, but because of their ability to empower others.”
We hear many of these quotes, often combined with remarks about our challenging times, demanding leaders to be flexible and adaptive. Chinese philosophers from 2000 BC felt that their times were exactly as challenging as we experience ours today. Yet still, what can we do to meet the challenges of change in order to become inspiring leaders for others.
2500 years of science
To be an effective and inspiring leader we start by looking at ourselves, become self aware. What do our lives really look like? Where are our inspiring and daunting moments? To investigate these questions there is no need to invent any technique ourselves, we can rely on the 2500 year old science of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a skill everybody can learn. It simply means paying attention and being present in the moment, recognizing things exactly the way they are, without judging them. I am sure, for many this is an unexpected answer. Why should we be present in the moment? We all have lots to do, deadlines to reach, places to go.
Mindful leaders are more positive, aware and focused
Interestingly enough, there is a lot of research and knowledge about the outcome of mindfulness and it is evident that mindful leaders are more positive, aware, calm, focused, clear, and compassionate. They lead from a place of authenticity.
There are many examples of prominent people who used exactly this tool to support their success. Phil Jackson, arguably the greatest NBA coach ever, is well known for his mindfulness practice. Steve Jobs was a meditator, as well as Robert Shapiro from Monsanto or William Ford. Google, one of the most innovative companies in the world, began offering its staff mindfulness classes in 2007 – just to name the tip of the iceberg.
Approach challenges from a position of calmness
Over the last decade, my own experiences of mindfulness practice have taught me that the challenges and demands I am confronted with stay mostly the same. The big difference is how I approach them. Mindfulness gives me the ability to see and accept that there are things I can’t change no matter how hard I try. This fuels me to use my full emotional and physical strength to make a difference in the situations that can be changed. I experience that even in tough situations I can approach challenges from a position of calmness, with a clear, compassionate and focused attitude. This is my preferred way for humans to work and live together, and it is a way that fosters sustainable happiness and success.
To me mindfulness is the only path to become self aware and to reach my own goals. Allowing me to be an inspiring leader for others and supporting them in reaching their highest potential.
Want to learn more about mindful leadership and get tools to introduce mindfulness into your personal and business life? Come on an Expedition. (www.expeditionraw.com)