To start off, mindfulness is important in every aspect of our life, at any given moment. Nevertheless the focus here is to see how mindfulness affects leadership. In this case leadership that emanates from love.
“Mindfulness is the moment to moment awareness/presence of mind with whatever predominant phenomena comes up in the body, in the mind during formal meditation as well as during general activities” – Sayadaw U Vivekananda
How would mindful leadership look like then?
We advocate for a leadership that requires us to pay attention and listen deeply to understand what we and others see, hear and feel. Certainly, we can only be mindful of our own experience and not that of others. And then what is key here is that in order to pay attention and listen deeply to others, being aware of what is happening inside is the first step.
Otherwise we are paying attention to the now with our minds in the past, controlled by our habit energies and conditionings and therefore seeing, hearing and feeling others from that place. Indeed, to listen deeply means to suspend judgement, to allow for the present experience to appear as raw as possible.
Our minds can deceive us even when we are using our sense organs, we could be seeing with our eyes what “we want to see” not what is really there. We could be hearing what “our minds want to hear” not to what is really there. And when it comes to feeling we can also be overridden by a narrative in our heads that is totally disconnected from the here and now. To truly feel in the moment is to be mindful of what is happening in the body without the background stories of the past.
Mindful leadership takes practice. The practice of always remembering to come back here, to the very present moment, and from there observe what is happening within and around us. When we are able to do so, then the way we try to understand what others see, hear and feel also changes. We can be more present to what is their reality in this moment.
Leading from love can’t be separated from mindful leadership. We enact leadership from a place of awareness and from the openness and caring that love brings along.