Mindful Leadership - Academic Management Institute


Building a Thriving Team through

Mindful Leadership

Kanesha Lee Baynard

University of Colorado at Boulder

Goals of this talk

 Overview of mindful leadership

 Authentic leadership vs. charismatic leadership

 Initial ideas and tools for:

 developing your mindful leadership skills

 creating a productive and satisfying relationship with your team (or potential team)

 Expand your thinking about colleagues and staff as important members of your team

 Share thoughts and ideas

Charismatic leadership

 High intelligence (IQ) and low emotional intelligence (EQ)

 Lacks an awareness of self and this feeds into actions

 No deep understanding of motivations

 Past fears and failures have not been examined

 Distracted by the desire to achieve success and recognition – in the eyes of others

Authentic leadership

 Genuine intentions

 Understanding of the purpose of leadership

 Building trustworthy relationships

 Operating with high levels of personal discipline

 Intelligence and a high level of emotional intelligence

 Self-awareness

-Bill George

What comes to mind when you hear

Mindful Leadership ?

Developing mindfulness

Mindfulness – the awareness of one’s mental processes

Understanding of how one’s mind works

Leaders are able to address challenges and adversity in a non-threatening way

Integrating selfawareness with actual experience in leading challenging situations

Gaining awareness through feedback and group (team) support

Mindfulness enables leaders to be fully present, aware of themselves and their impact on other people, and sensitive to their reactions to stressful situations.

-Bill George


 practice of living in the present moment


 doing the right thing

( management is doing things right )

 bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-tomoment basis

 guide a team through change and applies emotional intelligence in a way that attains the best work out of the team

 paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally

 inspires and motivates a team to drive themselves

-Jon Kabat-Zinn -Coach4Growth

Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others, and motivating them toward shared goals.

Hence, they become more effective in leadership roles.

–Bill George

How is your team organized?

How often do you think about this?

Do you think about an org chart?

Do you think about a team web?

Today, each time you speak, check to see if your words match your best self. If not, rephrase-or be silent.

-Martha Beck

Mindful: referring to the simple act of noticing new things

Enables team to be mindful as well

Noticing puts the team in the present, makes the team sensitive to context, and aware of change and uncertainty

-Ellen Langer

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.

–John C. Maxwell

How do you…at work?

Manage stress

Remain objective and less reactive

Show compassion to yourself and others

Build trust

The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why. - Warren G. Bennis

Mindfulness and Self-awareness

Knowing yourself enables you to make choices about how you respond to people and situations.

Deep knowledge about yourself enables you to be consistent, to present yourself authentically, as you are.

We trust—and follow—people who are real, who are consistent, whose behavior, values, and beliefs are aligned.

We trust people whom we do not constantly have to second-guess.

Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet.

-Theodore M. Hesburgh

Think about the current climate in your work place

Mindful leadership would fit because:

Mindful leadership could be a challenge because:

Once you truly intend to accomplish something, the success you can achieve is greater than you can imagine.

-Martha Beck

The process of opening up can make us feel vulnerable, even afraid.

Many leaders simply shut down in order to avoid this kind of uneasiness.

It takes confidence and optimism to let go of preconceived notions while also studiously opening oneself to new information and solutions.

Many also shut down to prove to people around them that they are decisive and know what to do (even when they do not).

Avoiding openness—and vulnerability—results in a narrow focus and can ultimately cause you to slip into mindlessness.

Harvard Business School Press, from Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion.

Any advice that doesn't feel liberating is wrong. Ignore it.

-Martha Beck

What leadership resources are currently available to you?

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

-John F. Kennedy

Leadership styles

Social styles/inventories

Emotional intelligence

Strength quest

Myers Briggs

Conflict management style

Real colors

Work/life balance



A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.

-Jim Rohn

Build trust through clarity and consistency.

Know that you will feel uncomfortable, even vulnerable, because in the midst of real change around you, the rules are not clear and politically expedient behavior is very tempting.

Make sure you never profess beliefs when people are watching, only to act differently when the temperature rises and the pressure is on.

-Dan Sontag

Any moment you spend attacking yourself is a moment away from your higher purpose and your power to love. Don't go there.

-Martha Beck

For a leader, each conversation and exchange is an opportunity to gather valuable information about people, groups, and cultures, while building relationships and resonance.

Attending carefully to our human environment and our relationships enables us to see details we may have missed and generate more accurate ideas about what is really going on.

Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee

You don't owe anyone time or energy simply because they want it. Doing out of obligation isn't kindness; it's self-betrayal.

-Martha Beck

We notice subtle patterns in people's behavior, group dynamics, organizational processes, and even worldwide events.

When we are mindful, we are more in control of ourselves and situations simply because we see reality more clearly.

Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee

Leaders should be collaborative, modest, and generous – Bill Bradley

Work to capitalize on your strengths.

Improve upon those areas that may be holding you back from achieving your immediate and longterm goals.

Assess your current leadership strengths.

Work to improve your influence skills in the contexts that are most important to you and your team.

Moving toward mindful leadership

Why expect comfort when you step outside your comfort zone? Expect fear and keep moving! Have courage! Soon, what was once out of your comfort zone will be INSIDE of it.

-Valorie Burton

What are two steps you could take towards mindful leadership by Monday?

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

Ken Blanchard

See the big picture.

Plan what you say.

Start small.

Need to turn things around? Shift your approach.

Rise above the fray.

Stay focused on solutions.

Tap into unofficial networks.

The Coaching Session

-Valorie Burton

If you want real control, drop the illusion of control. Let life live you. It does anyway.

-Byron Katie

See the big picture.

① Influence is knowing what you want.

② It’s more important to know what others want.

③ If you know what others want and focus on helping them get it, they are far more likely to help you towards your goals.

④ Understand your institutions goals - not just your department's goals.

⑤ See the big picture and where you fit into it.

Rise above the fray.

① Being aware of of the big picture, will most likely keep you from getting get pulled into workplace negativity.

② Choose your battles wisely.

③ Ask yourself, "Will this situation matter a month or year from now?"

④ If the answer is "no," let it go.

You can transform any situation by bombarding it with compassion. Make sure you include yourself, and you can always do this.

-Martha Beck

Stay focused on solutions.

① Many people focus on problems. You want to focus on solutions.

② Every problem presents an opportunity for you to demonstrate your problem-solving skills.

③ When problems arise, don't go to your team until you've answered the question, "What are three potential solutions?"

Tap into unofficial networks.

① Every institution has unofficial circles of influence.

② Tune in and notice who the influencers are.

③ Build trust and reciprocal relationships with them.

④ Be interested in what matters to them.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

-Peter F. Drucker

Start small.

① Make it easy to say "yes" by finding small things you want to influence.

② Getting a decision maker to say "yes" once makes it easier for them to say "yes" again.

③ Build trust by starting small. Expand your influence from there.

Plan what you say.

① Influencers are strategic.

② When it's time to ask for something, spend some time - even if just have a minute or two - planning how to ask.

a) When is a good time?

b) What groundwork do I need to lay?

c) What is the best way to phrase what I have to say so the other person will feel positive about saying "yes"?

Everything is happening in new ways. The only preparation is being open and relaxed. Do that, and all will be well.

-Martha Beck

What are two additional steps you could take towards mindful leadership by Monday?

Without initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions.

-Bo Bennett

Key questions

 Do I know what is expected of me at work?

 Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

 At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

 In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?

 Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

 Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

Your next step is always apparent: It's the most obvious thing that will bring you joy, always some sort of rest or play.

-Martha Beck

Additional questions

 At work, do my opinions seem to count?

 Does the mission of my company make me feel like my work is important?

 Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

 In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress?

 At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?

Competence goes beyond words. It's the leader's ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know that you know how and know that they want to follow you.

– John C. Maxwell

If organizations were mindful — referring to the simple act of noticing new things — leadership would be quite a different matter.

They would not only be mindful themselves; their most important responsibility would be to enable their followers to be mindful as well.

One might argue that in an increasingly complex world — where work cuts across all types of institutional boundaries — the leader's only task may be to promote and harness

"distributed" mindfulness.

-Ellen Langer

Sources and Resources

• Why Not You? 28-Days to

Authentic Confidence

– Valorie Burton

• “Leadership’s Lost

Decade” (appeared in wallstreetjournal.com,

February 3, 2010)

– Bill George • Finding Your Own North

Star: Claiming the Life You

Were Meant to Live

– Martha Beck

• Emotional Intelligence

– Daniel Goleman

• How Did I Get So Busy?

General Edition

– Valorie Burton

• Mindful Leadership: A

Brain-Based Framework

– Michael H. Dickmann

Sources and Resources

• ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership

– http://www.asaecenter.org/main/

• Coping with Toxic Managers, Subordinates ... and Other Difficult People: Using Emotional

Intelligence to Survive and Prosper

– Roy H. Lubit

• First, Break All The Rules: What The World’s

Greatest Managers Do Differently

– Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

• The Girl's Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch): Valuable Lessons, Smart Suggestions, and True Stories for Succeeding as the Chick-in-


– Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio

• Harvard Business Review Magazine

• How to Say It For Women: Communicating with

Confidence and Power Using the Language of


– Phyllis Mindell

• International Association of Administrative


– http://www.iaap-hq.org

• Now, Discover Your Strengths

– Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

• Strengths-Based Leadership

– Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

• StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded

Edition of the Online Test from Gallup's Now,

Discover Your Strengths

– Tom Rath

• Working With You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work

– Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster

Kanesha Lee Baynard



Educator  Blogger  Life and Leadership Coach www.itsafullnest.com