Walking the path of a Mindful Leader is not a comfortable journey.
It’s fraught with numerous pitfalls as we strive to bring our venerable and authentic selves to the world.
Most leaders avoid doing this work because they are afraid of looking foolish or making a mistake.
They would much rather play it safe, staying within their comfort zone, building their silos, keeping their heads down, and avoid rocking the boat.
The inner work of the Mindful Leader is about discovering the stuff that is going on inside that is preventing us from doing our best work.
It begins with purpose.
Work On Purpose
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I love the double meaning of Work On Purpose.
The first meaning is about doing the work to uncover our purpose. To determine why we are here, what we are meant to do, and who we are meant to serve.
The second meaning is about being intentional with our days. Setting goals and priorities that are in alignment with our purpose.
It’s easy to set goals.
It’s hard to …
… Cut through the noise and set meaningful outcomes that align with our purpose.
… Stick with our goals at the first signs of resistance or when we encounter a roadblock.
… Commit to the inner work required to live a life of purpose.
Your first step as a Mindful Leader is to figure out the disconnect between the unconscious motivations that are forcing you to play small and your conscious intentions to live a life doing your best work.
The second step is to widen the gap.
Widen The Gap
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is the power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Victor E. Frankl
This has to be my favourite quote of all time.
When I first heard this quote, there was no gap. I was suffering from emotional hijacks, outbursts of rage, panic attacks, and was on the road to burnout.
The core practice of Mindful Leadership is about pausing, to widen the gap between stimulus and response, and to build awareness of how our inner critic, that negative voice inside our heads, is making us miserable.
When you embrace the practice of Mindful Leadership, we learn to quiet the voice, let go of our judgements, and commit to the practise required to achieve mastery.
The enables us to do the inner work required to align our mind, bodies, and hearts, and get them to all move in the same direction as our purpose.
Expand Comfort Zone
“Step out of your comfort zone. Comfort zones, where your unrealized dreams are buried, are the enemies of achievement. Leadership begins when you step outside your comfort zone.” – Roy T. Bennett
Your comfort zone is the psychological state in which you feel at ease and in control of your environment. ‘sIt’s a mindset where you experience low levels of anxiety and stress.
We have two choices as leaders.
Stay within our existing comfort zone and play small.
Do the inner work required to expand our comfort zone in pursuit of our purpose.
Mindful leaders learn how to effectively manage the stress, anxiety and other strong emotions that we all experience.
Imagine being able to move throughout your day, staying calm under pressure, free from emotional hijacks, and effortlessly working through resistance and around roadblocks, all in pursuit of doing work that matters.
This is all possible when we choose to walk the path of a Mindful Leader.
Serve Your Tribe
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
What keeps most leaders stuck is a closed heart.
When our heart is closed, it’s impossible to build meaningful connections with others.
Leaders with a closed heart are reactive. They …
… Consolidate power by building silos instead of sharing power by making connections and investing in people.
… Maintain an illusion of superiority by keeping others at arm’s length instead of building respect by letting them see your authentic, flawed and human self.
… Step back and let others lead to avoid rocking the boat instead of using their natural ability to connect and persuade.
Mindful Leaders learn to apply the skills of empathy and compassion, both toward themselves and toward the people that they serve.
When you can lower your shields and build meaningful connections with those that we serve, you inspire others to grow as Mindful Leaders.
What The World Needs
Yes, it’s a challenge to walk the path of a Mindful Leader.
It’s so easy to give up, place blame, and make excuses.
But the world doesn’t need more reactive leaders.
What the world needs are mindful leaders that are …
… Committed to the growth of themselves and to be a mentor to their tribe.
… Continually pushing at the edges of their comfort zone.
… Willing to do the hard inner work to free themselves from the unconscious motivations that are forcing them to play small.
… Discovering their purpose and doing their best work.
The world needs you.
How Great Leaders Become Great Leaders
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