"Mindfulness Helps Leader Execute Strategy"
by Bauback Yeganeh, Ph.D.

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Successfully executing organizational strategy comes down to intentional choices at work. If you are aware of your options and intentional in your choices, then you are more likely to choose the behaviors that are conducive to your organization's strategy. This is simple to say but harder to practice. Our automatic behavioral routines constantly get in the way. The way I leverage mindfulness with leaders is less about meditation-based stress reduction (though these practices improve learning), and more about using a variety of techniques to break automatic routines and act intentionally. Mindful leadership is about clearing the fog that collects from doing the same thing day in and day out and leveraging the choice points that make great things happen at work. We all know that workload, work complexity and work stress are on the rise. Over the past few decades, the tech explosion has enabled us to create a society of work/life integration rather than work/life balance. As a result, the chances of being on auto-pilot while working are higher than ever. I have the privilege of working with leaders all over the United States and throughout world. Time and time again I observe confirmations that building skill sets requires identifying and practicing small and focused clever behaviors, rather than difficult and complex behaviors.  Practicing a new, small and focused behavior is rarely difficult to grasp intellectually. It is difficult because organizational cultures don't nurture the ability to break out of auto-pilot in order to be intentional in the here and now. I believe this is why mindfulness is becoming such a powerful and refreshing approach to growing leadership skills. I have certainly experienced it in my work with leaders and I encourage others to continue leveraging this age-old resource.