Control is one of humankind’s greatest illusions. Let’s face it—even with all the information available and expansive educational preparation—unexpected events often interfere with our plans and our best efforts to control an outcome or an event (and even ourselves!). And what happens to us, to those around us, and to the teams and organizations we lead when things get disrupted?
Institute Director Janice Marturano, Author at Institute for Mindful Leadership
Too much busyness puts us on autopilot, and when we are on autopilot, we are missing the parts of life that are glorious and joyful and tragic and beautiful. We are missing the very things that make us feel alive. So, if you have been missing the summer, try flipping off autopilot and taking what we call a Purposeful Pause.
One of the most wonderful teachings of contemplative practice is the directive to simply ‘begin again’. When we notice that we are stuck, we can begin again. When external distractions interrupt our intention to practice, we can begin again. When our reactivity once again overtakes our desire to be more responsive, it is again our choice to start over.
Some time ago, I was reading an interview with James Hackett, the CEO of Steelcase. When he was asked about his most memorable leadership lessons, he spoke of the importance of becoming a leader that was not ‘prepackaged’. In the course of his work, he met many CEOs and he noticed that the ones who were truly impactful, truly leaders in every sense of the word, were those who were not ‘prepackaged’. The great leaders were those who exhibited a ‘sense of peace, this self-awareness, that says, ‘I understand who I am’.