The essence of good leadership is knowing where to lead employees.
The essence of knowing where to lead other people is knowing where to lead ourselves. We have to discover our full working potential before we can lead others to discovering their full working potential, according to Dr. Stephen McKenzie, author of Mindfulness at Work.
Dr. McKenzie offers the following advice on how we can become better leaders by experiencing mindful connectedness with the people with which we work.
6 keys to mindful leadership
We are not great leaders regardless of the employees we lead; we are great leaders because of them.
1. Lead unselfishly
If we’re leading because we want to help employees get where they need to be to best express their professional abilities, then we will lead others and ourselves to a good place – professionally and psychologically.
2. Be inspiring
Great leaders inspire and transform others by inspiring and transforming themselves. They recognize potential greatness in themselves and in others that might otherwise never have been discovered.
3. Create common goals
Being mindful more of the time helps us be better leaders by uniting us in common goals and ways of achieving them, and frees us of our separate ideas about what needs to be done and how to do it.
4. Be courageous
Mindfulness gives us the courage to face reality, and therefore see real opportunities – to lead ourselves and others too.
5. Listen to people
Being fully mindful means really listening to people who work for us, as well as people we work for, and not listening to what we think they’re saying. If we listen to colleagues as if hearing them for the first time we create new ways of understanding and doing.
6. Be a conductor, not a controller
When we’re mindful we recognize when someone in our working orchestra is playing their own tune rather than playing in harmony with everyone else. Give teammates clear direction on their shared working goals, and the space to find their own best way to be a wonderful working part of a wonderful working whole.