I was talking with a friend today who has landed a fabulous job with a fabulous team. She is different. She is happy. She loves her job. She loves the people she is working with, the team she leads and the whole workplace culture.
The sole purpose of a job is to serve others. It is a soul purpose.
As Leo Tolstoy says "the sole meaning of life is to serve humanity"When we work with people and for people our purpose is to serve – the serve the community. As care workers, educators, sales people, research scientist, managers, Prime Ministers or garbage collectors, we are all here to do one job – that is, the serve others. This happens in a variety of ways.
For leaders to improve productivity, they need to be supported in their management. Leadership can be a tough gig, especially if it comes from an inauthentic place. Leadership can be lonely. As a young teacher, I remember being thanked by the principal because I sat next to him – as no one wants to sit next to the boss. Untouchable.
Mindful leaders work hard work and have great responsibility. A strong leader has worked on planning and developing business needs but a mindful leader has developed relationships and invested in the social capital of the staff. Mindful leadership develops skills like empathy and gratitude. It is an empowerment tool that builds a strong, loyal and resilient team.
Partnership and collaboration are tools that the mindful leadership builds on. The mindful leader is supporting a team who thinks and engages positively in the workplace. A mindful leader does not expect perfection. A mindful leader shows vulnerabilities and supports the vulnerabilities of the team in a positive way. Nobody is perfect – we all have a story. We have all made mistakes. A mindful leader listens without judgement to the story of the team. A mindful leader is respectful.
Knowledge is power that a mindful leader shares. Mindful leadership is leading a team who thinks because they have been empowered with knowledge and respect. By engaging connection within the team, the team feels understood. By empowering the team with the knowledge required, the team understands the task and the expectation. Leadership becomes context based.
What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.
Gretchen Rubin.Empathy and gratitude are important elements in mindful leadership. A mindful leader is empathic and shows gratitude for a job well done. A mindful leader has the relationship and skill to deliver criticism constructively. They support the learning of the team.
Through investing in understanding the team, a mindful leader engages connection, values change to improve quality and respects difference. These aspects of leadership build a sustainable and loyal team. A sustainable and loyal team is important for every business.
The leaders I have loved working with lead by doing. They are good people who show their vulnerabilities. They are meaningful role models who are real. They ride bikes, love time with their kids, have good days and bad days, blar, blar, blar. They are normal vulnerable people.
A mindful leader needs to be less critical of themselves enabling authenticity. Real people, real passions, real skills, real stuff ups. It is a life lesson to grow comfortable with yourself - don’t pretend to be someone you are not. A mindful leader needs to be authentic and be comfortable with oneself = warts and all!
To make it through to this end of my work life I have experienced a whole gamut of leadership styles. I have found that productivity increases when staff feel valued. A less stressed staff increases cohesion and productivity.
Mindful leaders value the individual. They make time to get to know their team. They show empathy and gratitude. They are mindful in their approach to an authentic style of leadership. Mindful leaders are collaborative, they share the work and acknowledgement. Mindful leaders have no need to micromanage.
How do you lead? Are you a fabulous leader?