There are those who are seemingly meant to lead. Born leaders we call them. Rushing in like proverbial knights in shining armor ready to save the day.
For the struggling leader, there is no sense of knighthood, but rather the feeling of being the court jester, relying on antics to somehow bring calm to a sense of brewing hostility and angst.
What makes one different from the other? In simple terms, doing things on purpose. Mindful leadership. It is leading with the idea that things be done with a purpose and for a purpose.
In order to lead in a mindful manner, understanding how to reach that purpose must first be understood. Ask these questions:
- What is the goal?
- Who are the players?
- What are the obstacles?
These three questions help establish the route, who the travelers might be, and what it is that might get in the way. The answers will aid in establishing a clearly laid out plan, one empowering the leader to systematically reach their intended purpose or goal.
- It is being aware there are steps to reaching a goal.
- It is understanding how to direct those working with the same goal in mind.
- It is being ready when challenges arise.
One can haphazardly lead and perhaps, by happenstance, somehow manage to achieve something. There is no benefit to such a leader, or the people they lead. There are no lessons, only accidental success. This is the juggling jester, hoping to invoke a laugh in order to save his own head.
It is the great knight who, through training, through camaraderie and fierce battle, manages to ride in with his battalion and save the day. It is no accident. It is great preparation and awareness of executing his preparation that allows him to save the day.
Mindful leadership is that awareness. It is purposeful preparation, purposeful connection, and purposeful execution. There are no born leaders, only leaders who have come to the awareness of their ability. It is the awareness of their own inner determination, the strength of their external relationships, and the willingness to face a challenge. The response to this awareness will determine how mindful the leaders will be.
Mindful as a soldier, or perhaps a clown.
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Find more exercises related to mindfulness at work here.