Mind your management: How to be a mindful leader

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Mind your management: How to be a mindful leader

Sunday, 07 April 2019 | Romesh Pandita

Mind your management: How to be a mindful leader

One must deal with complexities and uncertainties without getting overpowered by distractions, writes Romesh Pandita

Time has played a catalyst in changing the meaning of this old proverb from ‘grey shade’ to a ‘positive learning’ and it encompasses a greater rule to succeed in life: “Mind your own business”. The continually churning wheels of evolution have brought infinite development to life and with all that distractions too entered the world. The priority of every individual today is to deal with the increasing distractions, ranging from continually beeping messages and e-mails to multiple tasks round the clock. And amid all this chaos, it becomes seemingly difficult for people to focus on important aspects. That is where ‘mindful management’ comes into the picture.

Mindful leadership is often defined as the ability to focus on the inside elements in the present context and with careful, non-judgmental evaluation leading the way in a compassionate and thoughtful manner. The key to developing this great ability has repeatedly been related to practising self-observation and awareness through meditation, prayer, exercise, and other means. But the true development encompasses every minute of life as a practice session. Homo sapiens being the most evolved species on earth have developed great abilities to think, evaluate, and act in every instance.

Leaders accumulate information from all around regarding every aspect of business, but the expert management practices enable them to process all data by categorising them on a priority basis and making decisions based on the present elements in an unbiased and non-judgmental approach. This becomes integral for mindful leaders to avoid constant distractions and direct their energies to productive and primary tasks.

Mindfulness is not just a quality but great learning in itself, which develops emotional intelligence, increases productivity, enhances decision-making ability, amplifies ability to listen and grasp, and reduces stress and depression to a great extent. The benefits of mindfulness have gained great popularity in recent times and today, everyone with a zeal to take on leadership roles is looking forward to developing mindfulness within.

The command over one’s own abilities to deal with complexities and uncertainties without getting overpowered by distractions turns a person into a mindful leader. With mindfulness going mainstream, a number of ways have been defined to inherit this great leadership quality. Although the process of evolving yourself into a mindful leader isn’t any rocket science, it requires perseverance, focus, and persistence. You are required to focus on your key priorities to set your goals and work accordingly. This isn’t about hard work, instead, it is a smart way to work that pays off. For a person to become a mindful leader, he must create and protect an environment which promotes organisational growth along with individual development.

Right from creating appropriate communication channels and managing rules that can help in the cultivation of self-awareness, a mindful leader requires simulating and facilitating a nurturing surrounding for others to evolve. The best way to inspire others for mindfulness is through leading by example, whether it is the work-life balance, stress management, or performance excellence. From the founders and CEOs of global industry giants to renowned personalities, all of them have attributed their success to mindfulness. They get involved in activities such as meditation, yoga, exercise, jogging, cycling, or creative arts to enhance their mindful skills. Practising such activities, that help you focus and create awareness about your duties and priorities, surely paves the path for you to become a thoughtful, successful, and a mindful leader.

You must help yourself to learn and practice mindfulness before helping others learn. The transformation into a mindful leader is a gradual process, which begins with developing self-awareness, practising focus, scheduling tasks, and imbibing the positivity within. Small actions like correcting sitting posture and maintaining a healthy breathing pattern are also a part of this process. Moreover, the ability to live, think, and work in the present is the most important aspect of being a mindful leader. You must always try to be more present.

Focus is one of the fundamentals to the formula of success in life. That is why practising mindfulness leads to better productivity. Often people don’t realise that to be mindful, all they need to do is to focus on the present instead of getting caught up in the maelstroms of their thoughts. It is through practice that one can achieve a state of mindfulness effortlessly and become a true mindful leader.

Avoiding mental distractions and increasing focus on tasks at hand can funnel your brain with the right thoughts. You are also required to nurture your creativity and picture a bigger canvas. Quality sleep is also essential for streamlining thoughts and re-energising oneself.

Success isn’t rooted in working round the clock, instead, it depends on energy harnessed by calming and creative activities. Traits of being a mindful leader lie in actions that inspire others to follow. If you want to become a mindful leader, start evaluating yourself, observe everything around, channel your thoughts, harness your energy, increase your focus, live in the present, and inspire everyone around you being an example.

The writer is Chairman and Managing Director, Alcobrew India Pvt Ltd

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