Updated: Mar 9, 2020
What is the purpose of a leader, or more specifically a Mindful Leader? As this question comes up often, I decided to write down a short summary based on my own experience as a technology leader in large organizations/startups to bring more clarity to the topic.
After many years of experience and having extensively read and studied countless books, essays and articles on leadership, I have realized these 4 core principles and themes which are vital to my leadership:
Framing and communicating a grand vision, and turning it into execution
Generating results through the help of others, and optimizing their output
Empowering others / fostering collaboration in teams and organizations
Being a catalyst to motivate and influence strategic initiatives focused on building a high-performance culture
“In the process of leadership a person influences others to accomplish objectives and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. There are three major roles a leader plays: The role of the Visionary, the Catalyst, and the Coach.”
When reflecting what I have been doing in my role as technology leader over the past years I came up with a short summary below of what I consider to be the purpose of a leader.
The purpose of a Mindful Leader is (but not limited to) to embrace a mindset of present awareness and mindfulness as an underlying foundation to:
Built up a thriving organization (or transform an existing one) to have a positive and sustainable contribution to this planet
Bring clarity to the purpose of his/her team and organisation, and use purpose as a guiding principle to establish clear ownership
Setup a shared vision with his/her team, encourage big & audacious goals as a North Star, and deliver meaningful results based on those by instilling a focussed mindset within the teams
Foster a culture of collaboration and unity, instill the importance of common organizational values over goals and live them by example. Raise awareness if values are not lived and course correct
Encourage a culture that ignites creativity and innovation built upon trust
Lead the Team smoothly through ongoing change and provide the necessary stability & support backbone
Seeing possibilities within people, situations, and organizations where others can’t see them
Determine the optimal team setup on an ongoing basis to succeed in his/her mission
Staying positive when incidents happen, and not spreading fear or negative energy within the organization to avoid destruction and the development of a toxic environment
Simplify organizational policies and procedures to make the team’s life easier, remove blockers proactively, identify daily opportunities to add value to his/her team, know when to lean back
Make quality decisions based on wisdom that prioritize long-term benefit over short-term results, steer the “ship” based on clear KPIs and data, but always trust his/her intuition
Hold himself/herself and the team accountable on results, celebrate successes and failures as learning opportunities
Support his/her team’s growth journey towards autonomy. Be a mentor and coach, always accessible, provide helpful & timely feedback, send continuous impulses for team & individual growth
Be bold and courageous, confront or ask the hard questions if needed
Inspire and coach others to become Mindful Leaders
This list may not be complete, and will certainly evolve over time. Looking forward to your feedback or questions!
If you are or want to become a Mindful Leader it has shown to be important to surround yourself with a community of like minded professionals and experts to support you in your journey.
For this reason I have recently created the Fellowship of Mindful Leaders. Together with other leaders we embark on a powerful mission to change the business landscape on this planet. The Fellowship is there for you to support you in your personal growth during this journey, and that you have the opportunity to mastermind and connect with your fellow Mindful Leaders and subject experts.