Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quiet your mind to be a better leader

I read Bill George's blog entry, Mindfulness Helps You Become a Better Leader.  There are two points that touched me.

1. Don't let someone else define your own measure of success

"I was caught up with external measures of success instead of looking inward to measure my success as a human and a leader. I was losing my way."

Many people have not spent time to define their own values.  Instead they define their success by what others around them define their success.  Money, title and fame are often what defines most people's success.  Problem is that people don't create their own values and measure their success by the values.  When we take away all the noise about how we are recognized by others, we get to see how we think of ourselves.  What we need is how we are measuring our own selves.  The question should be "What is it that we value and how is it that we want to be successful in promoting our values?"

2. Be aware of how you are influenced by others and how you are influencing them with your reaction at each moment

"The practice of mindful leadership gives you tools to measure and manage your life as you're living it. It teaches you to pay attention to the present moment, recognizing your feelings and emotions and keeping them under control, especially when faced with highly stressful situations. When you are mindful, you're aware of your presence and the ways you impact other people. You're able to both observe and participate in each moment, while recognizing the implications of your actions for the longer term. And that prevents you from slipping into a life that pulls you away from your values."

Once we established our value, it is important to be aware how to further our value in each and every interaction.  In order to be a mindful leader, we have to recognize that we are a part of the scene and our role is to interact with people around us to promote our values.

This means we have to be present in the moment when we interact with people.  We cannot be lost in our own thought calculating how others might react or how we might react to their reaction.  We have to think about our values and how our action helps our value.  Based on our truthful determination, we have to interact with people.

I have to admit that I made many mistakes of losing my temper or getting distracted by inconsequential thoughts.  There are lots to learn and practice to be present in each moment.  I think that is why effective leaders often talk about meditation and physical exercise to reconnect with inner selves.

I wanted to leave you with the first 10 minutes of Eckhart Tolle's lecture titled Finding Your Life's Purpose.  Eckhart Tolle talks about how to reconnect with our inner selves by doing simple breathing meditation, and how important it is to be present in each moment.  I see similarities with Bill George's points.

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