While managing the kitchen at a Zen monastery, Marc Lesser, MD, practiced mindfulness and mindful leadership. He helped to create a culture of mindfulness that fostered a sense of urgency, focus, generosity, confidence and composure. He increased his employees’ productivity through general awareness, and more specifically, through awareness of others and of time.
Later in his career, Dr. Lesser built upon the learnings from his experience in the Zen monastery to create a training program to help employees at leading companies like Google become more mindful and emotionally-intelligent in their everyday work.
Dr. Lesser describes these experiences in Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader. In this book, he also shares takeaways for merging mindfulness and leadership in the reader’s everyday work life.
Mindfulness is a way of being and seeing that shifts our perspective. It allows us to address everyday problems in effective and efficient ways. It also helps us approach every task with humility and confidence. The capacity to be mindful and having a regular meditation practice go hand-in-hand.
In the business world, mindfulness can impact how companies and their employees live, work and lead, by creating more awareness, satisfaction, ease, effectiveness and connection.
The book shares seven practices that leaders can undertake. As a communication professional, I found three particularly relevant to me.
Three practices that can help communication professionals become more mindful in their everyday work:
- Love the work – “Love the work” is a practical instruction that can help us to overcome obstacles in many situations. Although our work at any given moment might seem difficult or boring, when we approach it with love, we see what’s important and embrace difficulties as part of the process and as necessities to be overcome.
- Do the work – By “work,” Dr. Lesser means doing the activities that can make you more mindful. For example, create a regular meditation practice. This will help you learn to respond appropriately at work and in all parts of your life.
- Keep making it simpler – Dr. Lesser recommends letting go of a mindset of scarcity, and cultivating a sense of awe and wonder. The goal is to integrate mindfulness practice and results into your everyday work.
Have you read Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader? Share which of the seven practices you think is most impactful in the comments.
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