What is the Purpose of a Mindful Leader?

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