Why Practicing Mindfulness Makes You a Great Leader

There are numerous, well-documented benefits to meditation. For starters, it makes you happiermore focused, more relaxed and even significantly smarter through neuroplasticity (a phenomenon that helps your brain evolve and grow structurally and functionally). 

That should be enough to jump on the meditation wagon, but if you’re still not convinced, there’s actually one more reason you should consider taking just 10 minutes a day to become more mindful through meditation—it’s the key to becoming a great leader

And you know when Google is teaching employees to “search inside”, you’re in the company of great leaders already. In fact, as NY Times's David Gelles reported in his book Mindful Work, you’ll be in the company of  big players like Aetna, Target and General Mills

Mindfulness is the “state of active and open attention to the present” where you can observe thoughts and situations without passing judgment, allowing you to see everyday situations and complex problems more clearly and react better to them. It’s another way to successfully cultivate emotional intelligence.  

Mindfulness is not another buzzword; it’s one of the cornerstones of the consciousness revolution.  

As one of our own CMO leaders, Virginie Glaenzer, puts it: We’re in the middle of a “new reality, where people are not defined by age, income, political beliefs or even geography, but by their desire to create a better world and be more mindful of their actions.

This doesn’t just affect the people we’re trying to sell to, but the people that are working with us. It’s a world where people take lesser paying jobs for more rewarding experiences, where they leave managers instead of jobs and where a mindful and goal-oriented CMO can become a game-changer the likes of Steve Jobs.  

Mindfulness takes time and practice and since most people don’t have five hours to sit around and meditate, we’ll let leading expert, Andy Puddicombe, explain how to achieve the same benefits with 10 minutes a day in this short video

So, how can you actively use mindfulness to become a great leader? Here are some places to start:

  1. Practice and Encourage Self-Awareness: Reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses without judging them good or bad, simply use them to find opportunities to let your team members contribute (weaknesses) or be mentored (strengths). By encouraging your team to do the same, you’re passing the leadership torch and fostering a collaborative and positive environment where, instead of blame games, people play to bring out the best in each other. 

  2. Take 10 Minutes to Clear Your Mind Before and After Meetings: Take 10 minutes before conflict resolution meetings and important pitches in order to enter calm, become open and happy AND take 10 minutes after brainstorming to let the best ideas take shape. The more you practice the easier both will become. Use an App like HeadSpace Omvana or Take a Break to guide you through it. 

  3. Prioritize to Lower the Pressure: The most common complaint people have in work environments is being asked “to do more with less.” Often, this leads to capacity being exceeded, resulting in disengagement. Being mindful allows you to focus on the present, finding the priorities with positive short-term effects and long-term impacts. Make your team focus on those for higher efficiency and greater output. 

  4. Use Empathy and Compassion: This happens when you stay calmer and more present in both conflict and high stress situations. People will make mistakes. Instead of rushing to punish allow them to compensate and propose a make-up plan. Your team will feel safe and supported as a result. 

A leader aligns people’s skills, beliefs and passion with the company’s or brand’s purpose, so that both can be engaged and engaging. By being calm, aware and, yes, happy, you’ll be able to spot the patterns that make such alignment possible in an authentic way. Now, who wouldn’t want to follow that lead?