BY RONALD ALEXANDER
A MINDFUL LEADER LEADS FROM A POSITION OF
awareness—what I call “mindstrength.” Such leaders can
easily tap into their core creativity to solve problems and
achieve goals, and they make everyone on their team feel
recognized, affirmed and valued.
Most of us were taught that creativity comes from
the thoughts and emotions of the mind, but the greatest creative artists recognize that the most original and
transformative ideas actually come from the core of our
being. Core creativity emerges when we’re in a state of
open-minded consciousness, or mindful inquiry.
Everyone can benefit from
being a mindful leader. My work
as a transformational coach teaching individuals and organizations
to become more mindful applies
to all levels in the corporate and
organizational culture, from the
CEO to the administrative staff,
and it relates to employees’ business and personal lives.
Becoming a mindful leader
isn’t difficult, if you’re open to the
process and are willing to make
an effort to develop a systematic
mindfulness. The ideal practice
would be to do a mindfulness
meditation for 20 minutes once
or twice a day, starting with 10 minutes once a day so you
don’t feel overwhelmed.
With a little effort, you can quickly learn to focus, harness and direct the unruly aspects of the mind into clarity,
order and positivity, thereby building more mindstrength.
A leader with strong mindstrength can respond with clarity, awareness and accountability, and has the ability to take
care of what needs to be done and to report to others.
effects of aggressive speech, which shuts down productive
communication and reduces the manager’s ability to see
the larger picture, make better decisions and effectively
influence the team.
• Building mindstrength increases your ability to be
optimistic and enthusiastic, rather than pessimistic and
stifling, so you can tap into possibilities to develop new
ways to compete in the marketplace. This requires letting
go of what no longer works and engaging in new actions
that lead to transformation.
• By remaining mindful, you can work toward your goals
every day, seizing all opportunities.
Your goal of balancing work and
family life won’t feel like something you’ll only be able to accomplish down the road.
BENEFITS OF MINDFUL LEADERSHIP
The practice of mindful awareness has a number of ben-
efits, including the following:
• It allows you to tolerate ambivalence, ambiguity and
conflict, as well as reduce frustration, ward off unwhole-
some thoughts and feelings, and resist the urge to force
• It enables you to tolerate differences between your
own and others’ views, and forge ahead with confidence
that you’re doing what’s right for you and for others.
• It helps hone what you say to avoid the negative
BECOMING A MINDFUL LEADER
One way to become a mindful leader is to develop your own
mindfulness meditation practice. I
encourage people to take a five- to
10-minute break in the middle of
their day to mediate so they can
clear their head and tap into their
Managers can also access this
creativity by exploring the arts,
walking in nature and participating in disciplines such as
yoga, tai chi and the martial arts.
Mindfulness practice will help employees enhance
their performance, creativity and productivity. It can also
help resolve conflicts, encourage giving and sharing of
feedback, and lead to creative problem-solving.
A leader, manager or owner can benefit by first practicing mindfulness and then by promoting the practice
throughout the organization. So, begin to sit mindfully
and gain the benefits of leading your team and your company more effectively. 3
Ronald Alexander is a psychologist who works with companies
and individuals to spur creativity, resolve conflicts, reach goals and
encourage teamwork. He wrote Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding
Purpose & Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss & Change.
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