A while back, I was guiding a mindful leadership session with a group of experienced leader-meditators. It was late afternoon, the ending of a work day, and we slowly moved from sitting practice to mindful yoga and then to a reflection on the following line written by David Whyte: “There comes a time when you find that you’ve promised yourself to things that are just too small.” Perhaps not surprisingly, this group of people found as many insights from that line as there were people in the room.Read more »
It is barely possible to read the day’s news without being touched by a description of a global or regional issue reaching near-critical tipping points. Some of these issues speak to human suffering in our own backyards, and some remind us, if we are attentive, that suffering halfway around the world still affects our own backyards. It seems there is a lack of leadership and innovation to meet these growing concerns. Or is there?Read more »
One of the bloggers who contributes to Mindful Voices is Janice Marturano, who shares insights and ideas from her work training leaders in how to apply mindfulness to help navigate the chaos and conflict they face. Janice’s posts always keep me exploring what’s involved in being a good leader—and we are all leaders at least some of the time. Leadership is not reserved only for big L leaders, and yet we look to those kinds of leaders—the ones who are called to bear the burden of leadership for long periods under great pressure—for inspiration and guidance. We choose them to lead us presumably because we hope and trust that they will call out the better angels of our nature.
Too often, though, leaders end up just being cheerleaders for our side. Our side is good. The other side is bad. Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah. Let’s beat them! And in the worst cases, leadership descends into demagoguery—leading us by playing on our fears and our lesser emotions. A steady diet of lesser leadership can make us weary. And wary. We distrust leaders before they’ve even spoken.
Occasionally, though, a leader comes along who shows us something larger, who takes us beyond ourselves, who embodies the kind of aspirations and humane qualities we celebrate at Mindful.org.Read more »
Many years ago, I was told that a teacher learns more from her student than the student learns from the teacher. This has certainly proven to be true in my experiences as a teacher, whether I was teaching business law, fourth graders or mindful leadership. And, as importantly, I have noticed that when I am open to the full experience of the moment, the lesson offered is exactly what I needed to learn.Read more »
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”— John Q. Adams
A few weeks back, I came across the quote above. Written so long ago, it was a reminder that the role of leadership, at its core, does not change. At all times it is about connectivity, knowing ourselves well enough to understand the impact, positive and negative, that we have on others. And it is about having the intention to make the spaciousness in the day to better understand and to connect more deeply with ourselves and with those around us.
On newsstands soon: The June issue of Mindful magazine. Check out the online extras on Mindful.org.
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