I came across a good read, “The Power of Mindful Leadership” in the Huffington post.
Having just worked with a highly achievement oriented woman in her late 40s from a large American MNC, she complained that her relationships are very task oriented, feels overwhelmed by a full plate and her mind is constantly distracted by “what’s next” and how to complete the next task at hand. Completing her daily check list in quick speed and being extremely action-oriented as a way of giving value to people, she found that there was an uncomfortable void in her work and personal relationships, longing for deeper and more meaningful connection. Once she has fulfilled her duties, from consulting a colleague to doing dishes at home, the relationship is over. Yet time with someone without getting something “done” feels like a waste of time.
“From the moment you wake up, you’re bombarded with distractions. Emails clog your inbox, requests pile up, and notifications flicker in the background. Within moments your attention is scattered. Given the realities of today’s 24/7 world, how do great leaders slow down and focus in order to make thoughtful decisions?”
1. Focus on your long term goals and values, keeping in mind the intention and purpose behind each action. For every action, there is a reaction. If you don’t feel that the reactions you’re getting from people are fulfilling enough, or find there’s a void or dissatisfaction in your life, refocus on the WHY, with the “end in mind” as Stephen Covey says it. There is a reason behind every action we take, whether it be to create more financial stability to secure a better future, to connect to our highest purpose or to live out our fullest potential in a way that we find meaningful. Focusing too much on the task as a transactional activity takes away the enjoyment and purpose behind the action that we’re pursuing. Is it possible to get things done while enjoying it? Can you imagine that?
2. Focus on your milestones and achievements. I’ve worked with many accomplished professionals who have received accolade and recognition by external stake-holders, from family members to colleagues, yet they find it difficult to pin-point the last time they really felt proud of themselves. It’s easy to focus on what has not been done or the seemingly large gap between where you are now and where you’d like to be. Yet, most people have goals in the first place in order to do and be better. Regardless of what our background is, we are all connected by a common desire to feel more satisfaction, happiness and connected to our highest purpose and personal ability. Counting the small milestones can give more gratification and energy to keep it up in the long race of achieving that goal. The organizations that I’ve seen with the most devoted and engaged employees have a clear mission statement and purpose and give people room to make mistakes, to achieve in their own capacity aligned with their innate talents, and celebrate the wins along the way.
3. Relax and give yourself a break. I’ve worked with many accomplished women executives, some who work a full time job with great demands at home and some with even their own side business. When was the last time you had your own personal time to focus on yourself and your own needs? These women find themselves so accustomed to helping their clients, their kids, their husbands, that when it comes time to helping themselves, it feels like unknown territory or a big question mark. The limitations of being overly responsible or “busy” is lacking time to refuel, re-energize and re-focus on giving your inner-spirit and soul the attention it deserves.
I recently delivered a program to a large MNC based on their “Peak Performance Initiative” on how to improve emotional energy and spiritual alignment and purpose in order to improve overall engagement and effectiveness. If you find this topic relevant, I’d highly recommend this quick, practical and easy read.