The Blueprint to Becoming a More Mindful Leader

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Presently leaders have adequate money but they don’t find adequate time to balance their work and life. Previously leaders had adequate time but they did not have adequate money to enjoy their lives. 

It seems that time has changed due to rapid growth in technology. Some leaders find it difficult to find time to enjoy their lives with their family and friends. Although technology is a boon, it has become a bane globally. 

With the rapid growth in technology and social media, people enjoy spending their time with machines rather than with men. It is time to reverse this trend to ensure that leaders find meaning in their lives. 

Although leaders intend to add value to themselves and others, there are human limitations. Some employees keep struggling from work to office and back but rarely do they find time to spend time with their family and friends. 

Keeping this current global scenario in view, it is essential to ensure work-life integration rather than work-life balance to ensure employee motivation and employee engagement. 

Only when the employees are motivated and engaged will they be able to focus aggressively and contribute their best in the workplace to improve organizational bottom lines. 

Merits of Mindfulness 

Due to workplace pressures, the minds of leaders are distracted and wandering which is not healthy for global organizations. Emphasizing mindfulness helps greatly to overcome the wandering mind. There are innumerable advantages to mindfulness. 

It increases self-awareness and empathy. It increases clarity in thinking and perception. It improves attention and focuses on your goals. It enhances calmness, compassion, and connection. 

It improves soft skills. It enhances the quality of sleep which is a performance enhancement tool. Above all, it enhances your self-esteem.

Impart Mindfulness Training

When you practice mindfulness, you will be able to separate the cheese from chalk; focus on important areas that are close to your heart; and respond to situations instead of reacting to them. You enjoy every moment of your life.  

Mindfulness training is mental training to the mind the way physical training is to the body. You can improve your thought process and change your brain through mindfulness training the way you improve your physique through physical training.  

As you train your body through physical exercises you must train your mind through mindful practices. People often care more about their physical exercises but they must equally care about their mindful practices to unlock their inner potential.  

Imparting mindfulness training to employees helps immensely including developing resilience, collaborating with others, and leading in the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. 

Steps to Slow Down

You must slow down to enhance mindfulness. Use technology sparingly. Live in the present. Avoid thinking about your unpleasant past and your unpredictable future. Focus on core areas. Disconnect from gadgets and connect with people. 

Emphasize physical relations over virtual relations. Reflect a lot and enjoy nature. 

You can visually see physical clutter but you can only feel mental clutter. It requires extraordinary mental energy to clear your mental clutter. When you create more mental space, you will be able to fill it with positive energy. Hence, clear the clutter to create more positive vibes.

What is Mindful Leadership?

Mindful leadership can be defined as the ability to lead various stakeholders with an emphasis on self-awareness and spiritualism. It is the ability to lead from the inside out, not from the top down. 

It is the ability to lead through soft leadership with people orientation without compromising task orientation. It is the ability to lead with compassion to make a difference in the lives of all stakeholders including employees, customers, and shareholders. 

It is to lead by being sensitive to self and others. It is to lead differently, not indifferently. In a nutshell, mindful leadership is the ability to lead with passion and purpose by living in the present moment.

Mindful leaders are often connected with their stakeholders. They lead by example. They learn from others and imbibe great qualities from others irrespective of rank and position. Leaders must remain calm in the eye of the hurricane which is possible through mindful leadership.

“Mindful leadership keeps you cool and energetic in any situation, so that you can make the best possible decisions.” – Amit Ray

How to Excel as a Mindful Leader?

When you write mindfully, you become a mindful writer. When you listen mindfully, you become a mindful listener. When you read mindfully, you become a mindful reader. When you speak mindfully, you become a mindful speaker. 

When you lead mindfully you become a mindful leader. Precisely, mindfulness is closely connected with focus. Hence, mindful leaders are clearly focused on leaders. To grow as a mindful leader, you must introspect regularly. 

Analyze yourself, understand your emotions, manage your emotions, understand the emotions of the people around you, and manage their emotions to achieve organizational goals and objectives. 

Here are some tools and techniques to excel as a mindful leader

  • Set your goals and focus on them clearly. 
  • Don’t react to events but respond to them positively and proactively. 
  • Don’t get victimized by your unpleasant thoughts from the past. 
  • Use your memories but don’t allow them to use you.  
  • Stay away from distractions. Take up one task and do it instead of undertaking many tasks at a time. That means avoiding multitasking, working, and living on autopilot. 
  • Avoid information overload. 
  • Practice compassionate listening. Be compassionate because the energy of compassion is very strong. 
  • Use technology judiciously, especially social media. Stay away from gadgets for some time every day.  
  • Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Learn to live in the present. If you live in the present happily, you can live in the future happily. 
  • Let go of your unpleasant past.
  • Focus on prayers. 
  • Focus on your breath. Inhale and exhale consciously. Do meditation daily for 15 to 20 minutes to improve executive functions such as sustaining attention and diminishing distractibility.
  • Listen to soft music and sounds of nature to energize yourself. Get creative. 
  • Journal regularly. 
  • Take feedback at the end of each day to improve and do better the next day.
  • Spend some time daily to step back to enhance your focus, calm, and clarity in your life.

Meditation requires a positive and peaceful mind. Don’t endeavor to silence your thoughts because silencing the thoughts is also thought. Precisely, remember your past, learn from your past to enjoy your present, and reimagine your future to lead a pleasant and happy life.    

Learn from Sufferings

You can learn a lot from suffering. Remember, in the ash of suffering a phoenix can be born. When you look at Mother Teresa, she suffered a lot during her initial years in India. She walked the streets without any financial support or resources. Such suffering made her dedicate her entire life to eliminating the sufferings of the poor and downtrodden.  

Work-Life Balance versus Work-Life Integration

As the term indicates clearly, work-life balance outlines balancing both work and life—that is balancing both professional life and personal life. On the other hand, work-life integration outlines life as part and parcel of work—that is including personal life into your professional life. 

When people want to pursue their hobbies and games, they can do so during office hours as the time is stipulated for this. 

Enjoy the Journey of Your Life!

We live in a 24×7 world and are bombarded with tons of information. We have the practice of congratulating leaders who work hard and burn out. Our culture taught us the wrong things to burn out to be successful. 

Mindfulness leadership is not a silver bullet. However, when leaders lead mindfully, they will be able to lead with energy and enthusiasm and eliminate distractions with self-awareness to achieve organizational goals and objectives. 

We must balance ancient wisdom and modern wisdom. We must strike the right balance between the East and the West. We must know how to leverage technology judiciously. We must emphasize humanity and generosity globally to take our civilization to great heights. 

Life is not a cakewalk. Life is full of challenges. You cannot control external events but you must develop the right attitude to overcome external challenges by responding to them positively and proactively. 

There is no meaning to life if people don’t spend their personal time with others. Although the destination is important it is the journey that matters at the end. Life is short and make it sweet and memorable. 

Ensure that there are no regrets on the deathbed for not following your passions. Hence, allocate your time adequately to balance your personal, professional, and social life to lead a happy and pleasant life and provide meaning to your life. 

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