In our corporate wellness programs, we explore how leadership teams can excel in their role. Here are some of the factors we discuss
Communication is more about listening than it is about speakers, so many in leadership position get weighed down feeling the pressure that they need to come up with all the solutions and disseminate it to their staff, in fact if they only listened their would get a clear picture of the problem and the solution will come from a bottom up grassroots approach. It’s the ones dealing with clients who really know what customers want and what would it would take to go the extra mile, the problem lies in a lack of communication throughout the organization as divisions operate as silos, the leader will be much more effective if he asked more questions, actively listened and exercised mindful communication where both parties are given equal importance in their contributions
CEO of India based IT giant, HCL technologies Vineet Nayar “The idea of the CEO as the captain of the ship is bankrupt” It’s time to call off the search for superhuman leaders. What we need aren’t extraordinary leaders, but organizations that mobilise and monetise the everyday genius of ‘ordinary’ (frontline) employees
Being able to have faith in your own competencies and those of others means that less time is spent in micromanaging. When employees feel trusted they are much more vested in their work and when something goes wrong they are the first to report it upwards to avoid any breaches in trust. When leaders take responsibility of the mistakes the team makes rather than shifting blame and creating toxic relationships deep collaboration and connection is instilled in the culture of the firm.
Senior leaders often have much of their emotional equity invested in the past. The average age of an S&P 500 eco is currently 58, up 3 years since 2008. Average tenure is 11 years, the longest since 2002. While veteran leaders may have the benefit of experience, they’re weighed down by legacy beliefs. Many of their assumptions about customers, technology and the competitive environment were forged years or decades earlier, and reflect a world that no longer exists
The way to stay ahead of the game is to forecast what the market wants next and to meet those needs. This takes tremendous abouts of creativity and experimentation, rather than being fixed with rules and procedures when employees are given the mandate to think outside of the box and to solve problems on their own terms ingenuity takes place. In this environment where consumers are looking for services and experiences the interaction with frontline workers require compassion and to distinguish yourself from competitors trying something new to stay remembered determines the success of the firm.
Adam smith “the wealth of nations’ talks about specialization, doing one-two tasks in an assembly time to boost productivity and total output. However diverse their talents and interests, most human ‘pegs’ have little chance to reshape the bureaucratic ‘holes’ they fill. Non managerial employees in Britain were asked whether they had any influence over decisions that altered the nature of their work, 86% answered no of just a little. Specialisation yields economies of scale it curtails initiative and innovation.
What do all these factors have in common? The are all elements of mindfulness, only when we can truly be true to ourselves to we have the courage to listen to others. Without mindfulness we are unaware of what our body and mind need, are you really able to honour when you are hungry or do you eat when it’s noon out of social convention? Do you honour when you need rest or do you keep watching your favourite show on Netflix? The point here is if we are unwilling to listen to others, how can we listen to others? Once there is awareness then trust is the next building block, can we trust ourselves if we aren’t able to self regulate? If we burst with emotion and then feel guilty about it the rest of the day, only when we are centered and calm can we be a beacon for trust in others. Innovation or creativity is only harnessed when we are not in a state of stress, mindfulness is the practice of letting go of stress so we are no longer in fight or flight and instead can call upon our more sophisticated mental faculties of problem solving, reasoning and deduction. If fear is your driver, are you really making the right decisions?
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