Eight Things You Need to Practice to Achieve Leadership Excellence

Carmen Marsh

March 06, 2018

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There are several qualities that originate within our minds and hearts that are critical to achieving leadership excellence. We can strengthen and cultivate all of these qualities through mindful leadership training. Let us explore them.

1. Focus

Not having the ability to focus on what is important at a particular moment results in a loss of productivity. People notice when your mind wanders even if you are doing your best to maintain eye contact and nodding during a conversation. You can build your mind's capacity to aim for and sustain focus. Building on this capacity will help you develop your ability to connect with others and bring your full concentration to issues and opportunities.

2. Agility

Being agile in leadership means being able to handle ambiguity, conflict, uncertainty, and inconsistency with ease while still holding focus on the bigger picture. Sometimes, leaders must make quick decisions as a result of changed circumstances. Being able to evaluate a new situation, develop a new strategy, and still maintain focus on the big picture will set you apart from average leaders.

3. Humility

Leaders who possess genuine humility treat everyone with respect, regardless of their position. Admitting that you may have been wrong or that you do not know everything is a courageous way to open your mind and learn from those around you. It is amazing how liberating that admittance can be and how it opens new opportunities that you would not have realized otherwise.

4. Compassion

Being compassionate means being empathetic and understanding of others' suffering with the desire to relieve that suffering. Compassion helps us to understand ourselves and others and the similarities we all share.

To cultivate compassion, one must practice self-compassion first. Do not beat yourself up over mistakes. Instead, treat those mistakes as learning experiences, and value yourself. This new way of treating yourself will encourage you to become involved in the well-being of those around you and make you a strong and trusted leader.

5. Creativity

International innovation expert Debra Kaye's research in writing Red Thread Thinking told her that we need to remove ourselves periodically from "task-based focus" so we have time to create new connections and become innovators. The creative brain needs that space. When you have a calendar packed with meetings and a long task list, the space our creative mind craves is lacking.

However, by training your mind to give itself a break from the constant stream of thoughts, you create more space for creativity, promoting innovative solutions to emerge in your role as a leader.

6. Clarity

In today's work of ever-shifting priorities and ever-changing customer demands, it is hard to obtain real clarity. We forget our innate capability to challenge our assumptions and see what is going on. Cultivating our ability to develop greater clarity allows us to see the events and environments around us and to see ourselves clearly.

Today's world needs leaders who will lead with courage and integrity. To accomplish that, leaders need to see themselves as who they are and clearly understand the situation at hand before making necessary decisions and changes.

7. Inclusiveness

Are you aware that inclusiveness could help you leverage people's differences to achieve better business results? As a leader, you can create an environment where everyone feels, and is, valued regardless of gender, race, and religion. When people feel safe enough to bring their differences to work each day, they will contribute their personal best in everything they do, and that will show in your company's performance.

8. Resilience

Being resilient means responding effectively to negative or disruptive events. When it comes to leading with resilience, we cannot forget Abraham Maslow's concept of self-actualization. He found that people who are more self-actualized tend to be more creative, spontaneous, and humorous and have a more accurate perception of reality.

The resilient leader must confront the brutal facts of reality. The ability to stare down reality while maintaining realistic optimism is critical for you to becoming a resilient leader.

Find out more about how to further strengthen and cultivate leadership excellence by attending one of our Lead Mindfully workshops. Sign up today!

Originally published on LinkedIn.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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