Finding the Space to Lead | Janice Marturano

Summary of: Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership
By: Janice Marturano

Introduction

In today’s fast-paced world, many executives and leaders find themselves struggling to maintain focus and clarity, ultimately leading to poor decision-making and dissatisfaction in both their professional and personal lives. ‘Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership’ by Janice Marturano offers a transformative approach that can help leaders regain control and balance in their lives. The book delves into the concept of ‘mindful leadership,’ detailing how it can aid in boosting focus, creativity, compassion, and self-awareness, ultimately leading to more effective leadership. The book also provides numerous practical exercises, including breathing techniques, meditation, and mindful walking, to help cultivate present moment awareness and foster overall well-being.

The Power of Mindful Leadership

Today’s executives lead busy, reactive lives, losing touch with the present moment. They lack time to reflect, learn from mistakes and consider the future. Mindful leadership can help. It enables you to fully inhabit every minute, enhancing creativity, making smarter choices, and becoming a more compassionate leader. By training your mind to strengthen its capabilities, you can focus on what matters and experience life as it is, not as you assume it to be. Mindful leadership creates space for you to connect with your work, projects, colleagues, and yourself. It puts you in the present moment, enabling you to see life as it unfolds. Mindful leadership benefits those around you, including colleagues, friends, family, and loved ones.

The Hallmarks of Impactful Leadership

Great leaders possess focus, clarity, creativity, and compassion. Mindful leadership empowers leaders to maintain their focus amidst constant distractions, challenge assumptions, think creatively, and practice empathy. They are not forceful change agents, but they collaborate with their team to navigate change effectively. By investing in themselves and their team, impactful leaders facilitate change, create something original, and achieve desired results.

Mindful Leadership

Mindfulness is the innate ability to connect with the present moment, but it requires training to achieve it. Mindful leadership can help individuals get in touch with their mind and the present. Mindfulness training involves mental exercises that require concentration and breathing awareness. Even though many thoughts will obstruct the focus, one can learn how to shut them out. The sensation of breathing helps anchor an individual in the present moment, enabling clarity and fully experiencing the moment. As a leader, getting connected with the present moment through mindfulness is vital since creativity and innovation thrive when one operates in the present.

Mindful Leadership Training

In the book, mindfulness training exercises are introduced as vital elements of mindful leadership practice. The second exercise is similar to the first – sitting restfully with your focus on breathing and redirecting your focus gently to your breath whenever thoughts intrude. The goal is to develop an awareness of how your body experiences breathing. The exercise is to be done for ten minutes twice a day, with an additional variation called the desk chair meditation that can be done during working hours. The desk chair meditation involves focusing on the soles of your feet and your entire body to develop awareness of your physical sensations. The exercises help you develop the ability to focus your attention expertly and make conscious choices, leading to mindful leadership.

Mindful Walking

Mindful walking is a form of meditation that enhances awareness of surroundings and internal sensations. Find a quiet space and walk in a normal but slow pace, focusing on physical sensations, sounds, and what’s in front of you. This practice trains the mind to be present and can be included in daily meditation routines.

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