Successful Living through Mindfulness

Most self-help books focus on how you can achieve more. How can you do more, be more – and do it all faster. This article takes the opposite tack: how and why you should simply sit and be still. The practice of mindfulness – being fully present and aware of the here and now – leads to successful living and greater fulfillment in all aspects of work and life. The happiest and most successful people are those who have developed their social and emotional intelligence. They have finely tuned self-knowledge and self-awareness. This includes: The ability to connect with personal values and principles The ability to imbue actions with meaning The ability to align emotions with goals The ability to keep motivated, focused and on purpose Honing the skills of awareness requires mindfulness – becoming aware of what’s going on inside and around you on several levels. Mindfulness leads to living in a state of full, conscious awareness of one’s whole self, of other people and the context in which we live and work. Before you dismiss mindfulness as New Age rhetoric, pay attention to the research. Recent studies in management science, psychology and neuroscience point to the importance of developing mindfulness through the experience of meditation. Mindfulness and Busy People Mindfulness meditation has long been practiced by those seeking calm and peace of mind. A Buddhist-trained HR professional, Michael Carroll encourages stressed-out executives to meditate to become more open and, consequently, more effective. In his book, The Mindful Leader: Awakening Your Natural Management Skills Through Mindfulness Meditation (2008), Carroll explores the key principles of mindfulness. How to heal...

In Search of Authentic Leaders

Employees at all organizational levels seek meaning and fulfillment at work. Most are willing to work hard for authentic, trustworthy leaders. Sadly, employee morale is at an all-time low. A 2013 Gallup poll found that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work and psychologically committed to their jobs. People are not easily fooled or quick to offer their loyalty, which explains why inauthentic leaders struggle to hire and retain exceptional staffers. Authentic leaders have mastered three key skills: clear vision, formulating sound strategies and finding approaches that inspire others to act. To join this elite club, you must align people around a common purpose and set of values. As they perform at peak levels, they’ll know precisely what’s expected of them. Three Problems with Authenticity While virtually every leader has a sense of what “authenticity” means, few know how to develop it as a skill. To complicate matters, being authentic in today’s rapidly evolving global marketplace has its share of challenges. A too-rigid view of oneself can be an obstacle to leading effectively. Three common leadership pitfalls include: 1. Being true to yourself. Which self? Depending on your role and the context, you show up differently. You grow and shift with experience and evolve into new roles. How can you be authentic to a future self that is uncertain and unformed? 2. Maintaining strict coherence between what you feel and what you say or do. You lose credibility as a leader if you disclose everything you think and feel, especially when you’re unproven. 3. Making values-based decisions. When you move into a bigger role, values shaped by...