As a mindful leadership coach, I’ve made the bold statement that I can help you increase your influence 10X by applying the power of mindfulness.
In reality, 10X is probably the minimum. I wouldn’t be surprised if the result you achieve is more like 20X, 30X or even as high as 50X.
What Is Mindful Leadership?
At its core, mindful leadership is about helping you become more aware of your ability to influence.
Mindfulness = Awareness
As with traditional mindfulness, it will help you become more aware of what’s going on inside your mind and body.
Benefits of traditional mindfulness include reduced anxiety/stress, an increase in mental agility and a greater sense of personal satisfaction.
You could easily spend your entire lifetime developing mindfulness techniques that focus on your mind and body, and experience incredible results.
However, where most mindfulness training stops, mindful leadership training begins.
As you will discover, we also focus on developing awareness of your behaviour and how your state impacts the people around you.
This includes building positive habits, managing your state, and creating a leadership presence.
Leadership = Influence
We don’t stop there … because at this point, we also add influence to the mix.
Most experts say influence is the core of leadership, and I wholeheartedly agree.
As with traditional leadership, mindful leadership will help improve your ability to communicate and influence.
However, once again, where most leadership training stops, mindful leadership is just beginning.
We take influence even further by showing you how to influence yourself to enhance your productivity.
This includes getting clear on your priorities, setting stretch goals, adding meaning to projects, and connecting with your purpose.
This sets an example for others to follow, dramatically enhances your credibility, and naturally adds motivation when you reach out to influence your team.
Why Should I Do It?
We’ve covered a few of the benefits of mindful leadership already, including an increase in mental agility, personal satisfaction, and an overall improvement of your ability to communicate and influence.
On a personal level, the most significant and notable benefit for me was reduced anxiety. I’ve suffered for most of my life with something called social anxiety.
The definition of anxiety, according to Signe Dayhoff, author of Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe: Working Through Social Anxiety, is as follows: “Anxiety is a complex blend of a range of emotions, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, expectations, and values, behaviours, and bodily reactions that results in that feeling of discomfort about the future.” Social anxiety “represents a universal concern about what others think.”
Basically, every time I needed to ask somebody to do something, my social anxiety would kick-in, and I’d have a mini-panic attack.
On good days, I would have to spend a few moments to work up the courage to make even the most straightforward request, and when the social anxiety was at its worst, I’d find ways to procrastinate, avoiding having to ask at all.
As a leader, you are always influencing, and you can imagine, this really impacted my ability to lead effectively.
It was especially hard when dealing with my boss and other senior leaders in the organization. Every time there was a difference of opinion or something didn’t work out, I would have an internal freak-out, thinking I was going to get fired.
Within about a week of implementing a regular mindfulness practice, which included meditation, my daily panic attacks all but disappeared, and my internal freak-outs came far less often.
However, it didn’t stop there. I also started to notice many other benefits from a regular mindfulness practice that directly improved my ability as a leader. Here’s a summary of the most impactful.
Mindful leadership brings to light our automatic thoughts and behaviours, allowing us to observe them without being swept away. This enables me to shift from running my life on autopilot and being more aware and intentional with my actions.
Focus and Concentration
One of the first things I noticed was the number of distractions that I was dealing with throughout the day. Mindful leadership allowed me to develop my focus and concentration, and this has enabled me to efficiently deal with the various demands and numerous interruptions that are a regular part of my day.
Putting out fires and resolving urgent issues may feel like you are getting something done; however, for most leaders, they pull attention away from critical key initiatives. Mindful leadership has been able to pull me out of urgency addiction mode and has enabled me to execute on my strategy.
Purpose and Meaning
Mindful leadership gave me space and mental clarity to become clear on my priorities. This enabled me to define goals and objectives that are aligned with my purpose and bring meaning to my work, my team and my company.
We all have our hot buttons that cause us to lose control over our emotions, which put us into an emotional hijack. Mindful leadership has allowed me to widen the gap between stimulus and response, giving me a boost of emotional stability and blessing me with the ability to stay calm under pressure.
Even though I’ve been practicing mindful leadership for many years, there are still times when I get caught up in anger or hijacked by other strong emotions. Instead of taking three days for the negative pattern to run its course, I can now work through it in just a few minutes.
The greatest skill of elite athletes is the ability to notice when their internal state is misaligned with the task at hand, and when it matters most, to be able to embody a winning attitude. This same ability is now available to me as I work to be congruent with my actions and develop a leadership presence.
Principles and Values
Mindful leadership is about raising the bar, continually holding ourselves to a higher standard. A crucial part of my personal and professional growth is about learning and applying the core principle and values of mindful leadership.
Connection and Influence
To bring out the best of everyone on your team, you need to truly, honestly believe in them. I found that you can’t fake this. Real influence is when my team goes the extra mile because they don’t want to let me down. This requires connection and influence.
Creativity and Change
Mindful leadership reduces the need to be right and gives me permission to be less judgmental. When I let go of rigid thinking, I strengthen my mental agility. This allows me to be more open to change and to be more creative in my approach to solving problems.
Productivity and Results
Mindful leadership has enabled me to become extremely clear on what I want to achieve. With this enhanced clarity, I’m able to focus my energy on the top 20% and ignore the rest. This has increased my productivity and overall performance.
Health and Energy
An interesting side effect of mindful leadership is that I’ve become extremely aware of the ebb and flow of my personal energy. This has guided me toward healthier habits related to eating, exercise and sleep.
Stress and Anxiety
There have been hundreds of studies proving the benefits of having a regular mindfulness practice. This includes reducing stress, negative moods and overall anxiety. I’ve personally experienced all these benefits and more.
Now that we’ve covered the core benefits of mindful leadership, let’s dive into how you go about becoming a mindful leader.
How It Works
Your mindful leadership journey starts with three simple steps:
Step 1: Determine Your Stage
There is a total of 5 stages of mindful leadership. In summary, the five stages are: 1) corporate zombie, 2) aspiring leader, 3) trusted professional, 4) people developer, and 5) mindful leader.
I’ve developed a short survey to help you determine where you are on the path of a mindful leader. This survey is available for FREE, and you can find it here:
Step 2: Start Walking the Path
The next step is to begin walking the path of a mindful leader. I measure my progress as a mindful leader against 12 key measures. These measures are based on a number of principles I’ve found to embody the actions and behaviours of what a mindful leader should strive for.
To assist you with this step, I’ve developed a simple checklist you can download for FREE. This checklist is the starting point of a mindful leader journey. It outlines 12 simple actions that you can take to move from corporate zombie to an aspiring leader. You can download your FREE checklist here:
Step 3: Join the Community
It’s impossible to develop the skills of a mindful leader in isolation, as it requires motivation, accountability, and feedback.
I encourage you to join my FREE learning forum where you can develop your foundational mindful leadership skills with other like-minded people.
This is an excellent opportunity to expand your network and connect with others who are also walking the path of mindful leadership.
The Mindful Leaders Toolkit
Remove stress, anxiety, and overwhelm by learning mindful leadership habits to build self-confidence, achieve results, and expand influence (all in just 15 minutes a day).