Leaders are often faced with decisions that can test their moral fortitude. The best leaders find ways to keep their moral compass intact, doing what is not only best for them but best for the company and the people who work for them. Stress can build up and cause bad decisions, causing even great leaders to lose focus on what is important and gauge their success solely on monetary gains. Overcoming this requires mindfulness.
There is more to being a good leader than simply creating revenue. Being mindful of how your actions affect others and yourself is pivotal. In his article Mindfulness Helps You Become A Better Leader, businessman and Harvard professor Bill George writes, “As you take on greater leadership responsibilities, the key is to stay grounded and authentic, face new challenges with humility, and balance professional success with more important but less easily quantified measures of personal success.” The higher up the ladder, the more difficult this can be. Thus, starting out with a foundation of best practices can be very helpful.
As a leader, George found meditation as a way to help him stay on the right track. Meditation relieves stress, lowers blood pressure and allows time to regain focus. George writes that keeping emotions in check can help reduce distractions and bad decisions. Being able to both “observe and participate in each moment, while recognizing the implications of your actions for the longer term,” can promote good decision making.
Being a mindful leader requires commitment and an understanding of the big picture. Building emotional intelligence with tools like meditation can help prevent rash decisions. Leaders are responsible for far more than themselves. Therefore, as a leader, it is important to keep not only self-interests in mind. Finding balance while keeping that “edge” that creates success is a line we all walk. Some fail, but mindful leaders find ways to succeed.
George, Bill. “Mindfulness Helps You Become a Better Leader.” Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business Publishing, 26 Oct. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.