26 November 2014

Mindful leadership is impossible!

Mindfully leading your team starts with a simple choice. As a leader, do you allow circumstances to rule or do you take the lead? Do you choose unconditionally to ensure that your own resilience is up to the mark, so that your team can also build on you or do you neglect the balance in your life? Do you dare to adopt an encouraging attitude towards emotions, both your own or in the team? Or do you prefer to keep the lid on everything? Do you choose we-communication in your team or do you let everything go its own way? Do you choose compassionate performance or a hard judgmental culture?
Naturally, there are all sorts of circumstances you could suggest in your daily work over which you have no control. A colleague has fallen ill, a department elsewhere is performing poorly, suppliers who do not keep their agreements, matters in your personal life. But you always have a choice. A simple example. If you drop a pen and ask others why the pen fell, you can get two answers. One will say that it is because of gravity, the other that you dropped the pen. If you want to prevent the pen falling again, it doesn’t help to blame gravity. Then only your actions count. But often we think like this in organizations and that has become ingrained in the culture. It is precisely that choice that you have in every situation that means that you can call responsibility unconditional. No matter how difficult or awkward the situation may be,  as a leader you have the freedom to choose in all circumstances.
Once you have made this essential choice you could perhaps best see your role as that of a steward. A host that appreciates the performances achieved, stated from your own experience, specifically directed at a person. But also a host that names awkward matters and not plasters them over. In this way you can steward  the team towards the green zone of mindfulness and thus promote compassionate performance.
Why wait choosing?