In the past year, I have been interviewed many times about the relationship between mindfulness and leadership. Why do we want to explore this training of the mind in the development of excellence? Is it to become better at our chosen career? It has the potential to do so. But is there, in fact, something more that is drawing us to explore this relationship?
We have at our fingertips, right here, right now, the ability to give ourselves a gift, the gift of being fully awake and at ease with our lives. And sometimes taking a walk in nature is the perfect reminder to unwrap the gift.
For many cultures and many individuals, there is a special attraction to this particular bird. And after spending an afternoon watching them and learning about them, it is easy to understand why this is so.
And, I learned that spending an afternoon observing them in flight is a great way to share in their wisdom.
Here are a few of the lessons I learned that afternoon — lessons for leadership and lessons for life.
What is the cost of partial attention? Does it explain why we increasingly see leaders making choices that they later don’t understand themselves? How often have we heard someone say ‘I don’t know why I did that?’ Or, ‘that’s not who I am.’
Today, in a world that measures time in Internet seconds, and that fills every moment with potential distractions, the discipline needed to take the time to do a truly great job and to make these deeper connections takes specialized mental training, the training of mindful leadership. Just as an athlete needs specialized training to excel, those in positions of influence need access to the mental training needed to allow them to bring all of their capabilities to bear.