Leadership Excellence: Ride the Wave

Leadership shortcuts don't end well.

hanibaram/Getty Images
hanibaram/Getty Images

Leadership shortcuts don’t end well… for you or for those around you.

In my work here at the Institute, I am regularly engaging in conversations with successful professionals at every level of an organization. Although each person has a unique set of circumstances, there are common threads that show up time and time again. One of those threads is a sense of being overwhelmed, juggling the demands of work and home, and trying to find time for self-care. There simply isn’t enough time or space in the day. And so, the responsibilities spill over into the night, throughout the weekend, and even your vacation (if you take one). Sound familiar?

With our list of to-do’s ever increasing, it is no wonder that we are constantly looking for shortcuts. We find ourselves multitasking, skipping or working through meals, lessening sleep and being connected to our laptop and our phones 24/7. Of course, none of these shortcuts work in the long term, and none are sustainable over the long haul. And as leaders programmed to “get it done”, sometimes this is the best we can do at the time, and it feels a little better in the short term to check the box.

There is, however, no shortcut to developing leadership excellence. Leadership excellence demands that you invest the time to cultivate resiliency and presence. It requires that you explore the principles that make you who you are, and that guide the leadership choices you will make. It takes the courage to stop, and to turn toward important questions:

  • What are the principles at the core of who I am?
  • When did I last feel inspired? How can I feel inspired again? Can I inspire others?
  • How do I meet the stressful moments in my day? What is the ripple effect of my reactivity? (At work and at home)
  • Am I contributing to my family, work, and community in a way that nourishes my body, mind and spirit?

Great leaders all begin their journey with a foundation of self-awareness, and the skills needed to access their own wisdom and creativity. This work requires a commitment to sustain and develop your practice, and the intention not to judge yourself but to be open and curious about what is discovered.

It isn’t easy, there isn’t a shortcut. But it is an open doorway through which we can enter our best life.

Experienced mindful leadership practitioners and those new to the practice both share the same challenges- finding the space to lead. The world is not going to slow down–but you can choose to explore new and sustainable ways to thrive in the midst of it all!

Joseph Goldstein put it well. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Want to learn more about how to start and maintain a healthy mindful leadership practice?
Join Janice Marturano for Finding the Space to Lead ONLINE , live and interactive training from your home or office.

Looking to renew or refresh your mindful leadership experience?
Join Janice Marturano and Sharon Salzberg for Deepening the Journey, a 4 day intensive retreat for mindful leaders this October 4-7, 2018, in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Originally published at instituteformindfulleadership.org

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