Leading Consciously

Take ten minutes a day to be an even better leader and get even better outcomes.

If you are like most leaders your wheels are spinning as soon as you wake up in the morning. You rev yourself up for the day by mentally reviewing your ‘to-do’ list and you do your best to get clear on your priorities that need to be tackled. For some this morning ritual means arriving at work feeling more organized but for many it results in feeling overwhelmed before they even walk in the door. When we are overwhelmed we put our heads down and run on automatic pilot.

Leading consciously requires that we have clear leadership intentions and that we are present in the NOW which is difficult if we arrive at work already overwhelmed. Instead of reviewing the to-do list we suggest a different way of starting your day and leading more consciously.

Leading consciously requires focusing more on how you tackle your list of to-dos, it requires focus on the true leadership pieces: inspiring, modeling, challenging, coaching, communicating, recognizing and engaging, for starters.  Unless these are paramount in our mind, we seldom achieve what we aim for, and spend so much time working with out heads down tackling the tasks of the day in a manner that may not be the most effective.

Take 10 Minutes and Lead More Consciously

One of the key steps to leading more consciously is starting your day with a firm picture of yourself as the best possible leader.  Find a few minutes before the hustle of work begins to do the following whether it is before you leave home (I know that is a tough one particularly for moms and dads), on route to work, or by arriving ten minutes early and finding a quiet corner. Then:

TAKE ten deep and slow breaths and try to quiet your mind. If you find it difficult to gear down, you’ll find it easier if you continue this practice.

DECIDE who you will be as a leader today. Reflect on your leadership practices and behaviours that most need attention in order to strengthen your team and its members.  You might keep the short list of leadership responsibilities described above in front of you to help you focus.

SELECT one action you WILL take or behaviour you WILL adjust TODAY to strengthen your leadership.

PICTURE yourself doing it.

FEEL how you will feel when you do this well.

COMMIT firmly to this change or new practice.

GENERATE a feeling of thankfulness for the opportunity of being a leader and look forward to your day.

SMILE – simple!

Make this a practice and you will quickly enjoy a difference in your leadership experience and your team’s outcomes.


About The Author:

Leslie Bendaly is recognized as a leading thinker and practitioner in the areas of organizational leadership, teamwork and change.

She is the founding partner of Kinect Inc. and author of several books on leadership including on Strength in Numbers, Winner Instinct, Organization 2005, Games Teams Play and Leadership on the Run. Leslie co-authored her latest book, Improving Healthcare Team Performance: The 7 Requirements for Excellence in Patient Care with Nicole Bendaly.

Her models, tools and books are used in organizations worldwide and her books have been selected as mandatory reading for MBA and other postgraduate programs in both the U.S.A. and Canada.

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