When mindful leaders encounter setbacks they handle them differently. With mindful leadership, a mindset that enables challenges to be managed with agility is adopted, inspiring the best from others in the process. Today we’re taking a deep dive inside this mindset to discover three habits that supercharge the performance of mindful leaders.
1. Mindful Leaders Don’t Waste Time Looking for Someone to Blame When Things Go Awry.
When setbacks occur mindful leaders understand that the way to get things back on track is not to point the finger of blame or look for scapegoats. Instead, mindful leaders encourage their team to analyse errors and failures and ask:
- What can we learn here? An essential component of mindful leadership is the ability to not only analyse mistakes and errors but to encourage those you lead to do the same. Mindful leaders understand that learning from errors is the true route to mastery. When we examine failures we are collecting precious data that can help us to drive progress and achieve success. When Elon Musk talks about the first roadster that Tesla ever sold he describes it as ‘a total disaster’ but instead of throwing in the towel and concluding the entire idea was a waste of time, Musk and his team set about discovering what they could improve. Musk describes the process as similar to building a house by remodelling an existing structure until only one wall is left. It took Tesla three years to stop losing money on every roadster they sold.
2. Riding the waves of self doubt.
Mindful leaders understand that everyone has periods of self doubt. When those you lead start to doubt their capabilities it’s a perfect opportunity to support them in adopting a more grounded approach. They encourage individuals to regard the negativity of self doubt as passing thoughts, neither good or bad, focusing instead on the present moment. Mindful leaders know that getting the best from people involves a coaching approach where individuals are encouraged to objectively identify their strengths and weaknesses and identify the incremental steps necessary to improve performance. Mindful leaders are skilled at highlighting previous occasions when those in their team have overcome obstacles and succeeded, asking team members to consider what inner resources have been used on these past occasions to overcome self doubt and how they can be deployed to manage new challenges. Mindful leaders are in it for the long game and appreciate that helping people to manage and overcome self doubt builds successful teams. Mindful leaders also share their own experiences of overcoming self doubt in the face of setbacks and challenge, creating a transparent culture that truly values growth and development amongst their team rather than a culture of ready made genius.
3. Mindful Leadership – it’s not just talking the talk
Mindful leaders make sure that a mindful culture of development sticks by embedding it into the nuts and bolts of their organisation’s processes. It’s not enough to just talk about a mindful mindset. For real and lasting change to take place mindful leaders ensure that they create opportunity for their teams to adopt a mindful approach in the workplace, including opportunities to be more engaged in the present by providing space and time for people to create and innovate. The highly successful Washington based software company, Valve, provides a great example, their handbook for new employees describes their ethos:
“In 1996, we set out to make great games, but we knew back then that we had to first create a place that was designed to foster that greatness. A place where incredibly talented individuals are empowered to put their best work into the hands of millions of people, with very little in their way…This handbook is about the choices you’re going to be making and how to think about them. Mainly, it’s about how not to freak out now that you’re here.”
Valve also makes it clear from the start that failing fast and learning from those failures is valued,
“Providing the freedom to fail is an important trait of [Valve] — we couldn’t expect so much of individuals if we also penalized people for errors. Even expensive mistakes, or ones which result in a very public failure, are genuinely looked at as opportunities to learn.”
It’s forward thinking approaches like this that create such great results for Valve.
You can begin to develop your own mindful leadership style today by incorporating these three tips. We’d love to hear how you get on.
How Mindful Are You? Visit our resources page to take our free mindfulness test and find out more http://positivechangeguru.com/how-mindful-are-you/
We deliver bespoke Mindfulness Leadership and Mindfulness at work training in-house and open courses offering 1 day, half day, bitesize training sessions along with conference speaking. We’re also currently researching the impact of mindfulness and compassion on leadership efficacy. To find out more about our research, mindful leadership or mindfulness training contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our events page http://positivechangeguru.com/events-2/