3 reasons business leaders need mindfulness

While mindfulness might seem soft or indulgent, it’s vital for leaders today. Practicing mindfulness provides exactly what’s needed to persevere and thrive in this global, 24/7, hyper-competitive business environment. Below are three key reasons that’s the case.

1) Leaders need to be emotional Einsteins

Of all the attributes that leaders must have, emotional intelligence (EI) tops the list. EI can be defined as the ability to know and control one’s own emotions and to deal with relationships skillfully. Daniel Goleman, the psychologist whose research convinced business leaders of the importance of EI, says, “The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence.”

Leaders need high EI to generate the most productivity from themselves and their employees. EI provides leaders with the wisdom to avoid pitfalls when managing others and the insight to promote mental and physical wellness so that they remain happy and productive employees for a long time.

Practicing mindfulness has been shown to boost EI by increasing perceptivity of people’s emotional states and augmenting one’s capacity for self-control.

2) Leaders must focus through the worst difficulties

Facing scores of decisions that subject them to the force and heat of serious consequences for their company, a leader lives in a pressure cooker. The impact of a leader’s every decision can resound throughout the company and sometimes beyond. As such, each action needs to be carefully considered — an act that can prove extremely difficult while distractions whirl around.

Under such pressure and with such high stakes, distractions can hamstring a leader’s capacity for effective decision-making. Fortunately, practicing mindfulness mitigates the impact of negative emotions, reducing their ability to pull our attention from the issue we want to concentrate on.

3) Leadership can be lonely

Leaders have been elevated in status in the last 30 years, especially CEOs. Along with rising salaries have come rising expectations. Employees look to leaders for strength and vision. Showing anything except confidence can be perceived as weakness.

Existing on a pedestal can isolate leaders and leave them more vulnerable to the ill effects of stress. Through practicing mindfulness, leaders can find healthier ways to handle difficulty so they can get back to eating stress for breakfast.

Give mindfulness a try (instructions at the bottom of this link) for a few weeks, and let me know what difference it makes in your life.

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.