LEADING FROM THE INSIDE OUT
It may be evident that the perceived value and effectiveness of a leader is directly correlated to both satisfaction and the growth of the team, group, community, company or organization. But how does one become valued? And what makes a leader effective?
From my perspective, one’s education and experience isn’t enough these days. Interpersonal skills are essential. Having the tools to develop one’s compassion and empathy muscles will lift teams, encourage them to take ownership of who they are and the roles they play, ultimately driving forward the group mission.
An effective leader is not simply overseeing budgets and being task oriented. Leaders today care about people and extend themselves to create opportunities that cultivate the development of their team’s individual and collective skills, experience and goals. When people feel heard and valued and given opportunities to take care of their needs in all life areas, they are happier and more productive.
So, if you’re an aspiring leader or have a traditional, “just get ‘er done” leadership style, how do you learn to lead with your heart?
Leading From the Inside Out
In order to answer the question above, it would be important to know how mindfulness is a practice that I recommend first thing each morning – and throughout the day if necessary – which develops a deeper attitude of compassion. Compassion is something that is not just directed towards others, but first and foremost, through mindfulness, you learn to show more kindness towards yourself.
I’ve personally practiced and shared with those that work with me simple ways to develop and maintain a mindfulness practice and last year, to help others kick start their journey to leading and living with more compassion, I launched a virtual, 10-day guided mindfulness experience that allows participants to focus on a particular area of life each day, it’s interactive and a great tool to help prioritize this invaluable skill building time. The practice of focusing inward, in the now and without judgment, places a leader on the path of greater self-awareness.
This is beneficial as becoming aware of oneself – no judgment involved – makes the leader more accepting of who they truly are – flaws and fabulosity! When relating to others then, true leaders can extend this same acceptance and this is where their value and effectiveness blossom.
Imagine. You are highly self-aware and unbothered by your imperfections. In any situation or interaction then, you notice that your ability to remain focused and identify solutions or opportunities for growth – even in the midst of problems and setbacks – is heightened. You notice that with ease, you motivate and mobilize others too!
More and more studies are highlighting the power of mindfulness as a practice that develops ones’ compassion. Mindfulness encourages growth in other areas as well:
- Creativity is enhanced
- Patience increases
- Happiness/Energy boost
- Increased awareness of operational and relational issues
- Improved focus and thinking
- Executive functioning/strategic planning is better
- Enhanced problem solving and decision-making ability
Leaders with varied mindfulness experience and professional roles have shared many other praises about my BE MNDFL 10-Day Guided Mindfulness Experience. Here’s the word on the street from a few participants:
“This experience was awesome. I particularly enjoyed focusing on a specific topic and being mindful to focus on it throughout the day.” – Marion, Michigan
“I love that I was able to take time out of each day for myself. This experience made me relax and truly see what God is bringing to me each day.” – Ahren, California
“’Chemistry’ was one of my favorite themes during this experience because Marisha’s perspective on ‘chemistry’ and ‘soul mating’ is different and I appreciate this outlook.” – Linda, New Jersey