What It Takes to Be a Mindful Leader—and Why It MattersNone By Janice Marturano
Everyone has the capacity to lead with excellence. After all, leadership is not about titles or management roles. Leadership, at its heart, is about influence. And every one of us, for better or worse, has an influence every day. Each choice we make has an influence on our own life, as well as our families, friends, colleagues, communities, and the environment…for better or worse. So, the work of mindful leadership training is to begin to see how we can train our mind, and open ourselves to our own wisdom, so that we can more often influence "for better", and less often influence "for worse".
If you take a few moments to think about this, you might be able to recall the actions or words of someone who has had a strong positive influence on you, someone who inspired you. Perhaps they fit the conventional definition of a leader, but it is just as likely that they did not have any official leadership title. Those who "influence for better" are leaders because they make a difference, and, more importantly, because they also inspire those around them to want to make a difference.
Likewise, those who "influence for worse" also may or may not have a leadership title. The influence of the choices they make can range from benign neglect to intentional harm, and everything in between. Those affected can become disillusioned, apathetic, disengaged, or just plain exhausted.
In the decade since I began developing and teaching the mindful leadership curricula of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, I have seen that the best leaders are those with bright minds and warm hearts. They are people who want to make a difference. But they are also often overwhelmed by the complexity and speed of today’s world, and the environment of constant distractions. As they look to ways to strengthen the mind’s innate capacities, thousands and thousands have turned to mindful leadership training. They learn to strengthen what I call the 4 Fundamentals of Excellence: focus, clarity, creativity, and compassion. As they make training their minds as important as training their bodies, they begin to live their best life…a life that influences more often "for better" and less often "for worse".
Now it's your turn to try an introduction to the Institute’s training through my 4-week track on Happify. Enjoy the journey!
Janice Marturano is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, and a retired General Mills senior executive. She is the author of the international best seller, Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership.
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