Leaders are expected to exercise greater awareness, critical and creative thinking, and ultimately freedom of action and response-ability than regular employees. The higher the position of leadership, the more these traits are demanded.
But how can leaders cultivate and strengthen these abilities? And how do we eliminate behavior patterns that inhibit them?
The answer, as psychologists are increasingly finding, is mindfulness.
Mindfulness allows leaders to:
If you don't believe that mindfulness provides these benefits, simply picture the last time you were terrified or infuriated or distressed. How clear was your thinking? How creatively inspired? How open to feedback?
No one would hope to be mentally agile and empowered under those conditions. And that's the point: those emotions tend to take us out of the present moment and limit our critical and creative thought.
So unless a leader makes a conscious effort to stay mindful, these negative emotions squash one's abilities to operate from a position of choice and power.
And what we have found through our research is that exceptional -- aka fearless -- leaders routinely make that conscious effort to stay mindful in difficult situations.
Fearless leaders stay mindful so that they can operate from their highest consciousness when it matters most, rather than reacting to negative circumstances and emotions such as fear (especially the fear of failure).
Indeed, the ability to routinely operate from higher consciousness under stress -- grace under pressure -- is one of the most noted and obvious traits of a fearless leader.
And the good news is that mindfulness is a skill that can be learned and strengthened with the right exercises, including the ability to retain mindfulness within high-stress moments and situations.
It's one thing when colleagues and team-mates comment on a leader's improvement in Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness -- and that happens pretty routinely -- but it's entirely another thing when a leader's spouse or kids do it!
Then you really know a substantial change has taken hold.
Different leaders express their highest consciousness differently, so knowing what type of fearless leader you are can help you more consistently stay in that higher consciousness.
And that makes taking our short, interactive quiz a no-brainer.