What a great time to start something new—at this time of year. This is the season we look to the past with fondness, the present with awe, and the future with great expectations.
It’s a rare time for many; a time when we actually stop to reflect, renew, restore, and re-create.
Seeing the World Anew
There’s a potent leadership lesson to be captured now and to be held throughout the year.
It’s the capacity to see the world anew. And this is something much easier said than done.
Too often we are nothing more than our finely honed set of fixed action patterns—our automatic ways of engaging with our world.
- When applied to the mundane, those patterns are a godsend that keep our brains from frying.
- When applied to our relationships, challenges, and work, they can blind us to the obvious, trick us into words and actions that we later regret, hurt those that we care about, and spoil the fruits of our labors.
Mindful leaders have a rare capacity that enables them to see the world anew. They recognize the dangers of operating on autopilot, being unconsciously driven by emotions, fears, hopes, concerns, and over-reliance on their worldview as the only view.
They have mastered the ability to live in the present.
The good news is that although that capacity is rare, it’s not inaccessible.
Many of us touch upon it at this time of year—when we reconnect with loved ones in ways that touch the very innermost of our being, when we look with wonder upon a child, when we stop to reflect and give thanks for all that is around us.
Time to Imagine
Imagine being touched by a work relationship in the same way…a relationship rekindled and the opportunity to do good and produce something phenomenal once again before you.
Imagine approaching the next hard-to-solve work dilemma with a sense of wonder…eager to untangle it rather than snorting in frustration, looking for a scapegoat, questioning your competence, or otherwise being driven by your own needs.
The beauty, power, and awe we experience this time of year can be ours year round, if only we learn to live in the present.
Mindful leaders do so by utilizing a few core skills:
This is a term coined by Tom Peters. The capacity to listen as if naïve; to put aside knowledge, bias, beliefs, concerns, hopes and other ego-driven needs and listen intently and openly to what the other is saying.
This is to see the world anew, as it is in all its splendor—without wrapping it (or unwrapping it) with your biases, beliefs, or desire to understand and/or control it.
This is action with the intent of serving the other and looking for nothing in return. Action based on doing what is right and noble.
My wish for you—for now and always—that those three skills carry you forward.
At a time when people long for the past and dream of the future, may you rejoice in a gift so perfect that it’s called the present.
So, have you taken the time this season to properly reflect on the past? Have you inventoried your results, your feelings, and your actions? Are you preparing for a new season that can take the “awe” and wonderment of a fresh start and make it last a full year? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders™
Rosaria (Ria) Hawkins, PhD, is a the president of Take Charge Consultants
She helps leaders & organizations build strategies to ensure long-term success
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Image Sources: images.fineartamerica.com, wisdomatwork.com
- New Year, New Leadership Skills (thesearchforleadership.wordpress.com)
- The Measure of Leadership (linked2leadership.com)
- Leaders: Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (linked2leadership.com)