Leadership is a conscious process, starting with clarity about one’s own personal vision and hopes for the future. Resonant leadership is common sense, but it is not common practice. This is probably because most of us operate on false assumptions about what it takes to be a great leader – including the myths (discussed in an earlier post) that good leaders should be able to take the heat, assume that emotions don’t matter, and assume that intellectual prowess will carry the day. Resonant leadership requires that a person be highly self-aware, manage him or herself in stressful and complex environments, read other people, empathize with their needs, and lead others to get the job done. Resonant leaders need to know what inhibits effective individual and team performance and how to address these issues. In other words, leadership requires emotional and social intelligence and a deep understanding of how social systems, and the people in them, must work together to achieve complex and challenging goals.
Sustaining mindfulness in the midst of constant career and life pressure is not easy. It helps to include simple structures to your daily routine. Think about yourself holistically. Consider how to attend to your body, mind, heart and spirit. Look to see how ‘tuned in’ you are to your current situation. Adjust as needed. Some questions to answer to help you determine how successful you are at staying mindful include:
- What activities do I consider of greatest worth in my life?
- What activities do I consider of greatest worth in my work?
- What am I currently doing in my life that I like?
- What am I currently doing in my work that I like?
- What am I currently doing in my life that I don’t like?
- What am I currently doing in my work that I don’t like?
- Draw a sketch of your body…mark the areas that hold stress and tension. Circle the areas that need your attention.
- Write a list of your current feelings. What do you need to do to change any feelings that aren’t serving you?
- Close your eyes and picture something or someone who inspires you. Sit with these feelings. Radiate these images in your daily life.
From Becoming a Resonant Leader: Develop Your Emotional Intelligence, Renew Your Relationships, and Sustain Your Effectiveness by Annie McKee, Richard Boyatzis, and Frances Johnston