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How Mindfulness Changed My Leadership Style

My career journey has been a series of ups and downs, which I’m sure is not unique. For the longest time, I felt like I always just had a “job” and not a career. I wasn’t sure where to go or what I really wanted to do with my life. My pursuit of education has been the main driver of how I developed a passion for leadership. Danielle has always said, everyone leads, and I wholeheartedly agree! You lead from where you are and as Jon Kabbat Zinn says, wherever you go, there you are. (I highly recommend his book with that title!)


I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed into one type of job. I have been pretty intentional about the programs of study I chose and the courses I’ve taken. So, when I decided to pursue Organizational Leadership for my postgraduate study, I figured it was broad enough to apply to any company I was to work for in the future. That was where I first learned about Jon Kabbat Zinn, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence as superpowers in leadership.


Mindfulness is my superpower. Mindfulness is the act of paying attention to the present moment with intention and non-judgement. Sounds simple, right? Over the past decade, I have been building my mindful leader toolkit, practicing mindfulness, and increasing my knowledge about the neuroscientific benefits of it. I meditate daily, practice gratitude often, and read as much as I can about mindfulness. It does take practice!


In leadership, it is my firm belief that we need to be aware of our current state of mind, the way we interact with others, and how to manage our emotions in a healthy and productive way. We are all human; we all have bad days. So, when we notice we are stressed out, or tired, or sad, there are ways to mindfully attend to those feelings and not project them on others or act in a way that is not aligned with our intentions to be kind. Kind leadership is another topic for another day…I have lots to say about that too!


Be well, be safe, and be kind.


Mindfully yours,

Anika



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