A MINDFUL LEADER embodies leadership presence by cultivating focus, creativity and compassion in the service of others. Leadership presence is a tangible quality. It requires full and complete non-judgmental attention in the present moment. Those around a mindful leader see and feel that presence.
Leadership presence is powerful. You can probably recall times when you experienced leadership presence, either in yourself or someone else. It might been in a one-on-one conversation, or it might have been in an audience filled with people. Presence can be felt even from far away.
You can recall the much more common experiences when you feel only partially in the room, or you feel the person you are speaking with is not really there. Your mind becomes easily distracted, thinking about the past or the future. In those moments, you are not embodying the innate capacity everyone possesses to be present. Recall a moment when you experienced full awareness in a situation. Your full attention —- mind, body and heart was completely absorbed in that moment. You may have lingered to notice a sunset, or a painting on the wall, whatever it was, it interrupted the busy mind, and you were living that moment of your life more fully.
Such moments —– when we fully inhabit our bodies and our senses are at work on more than an internal storyline or rehearsed conversation —- are what give life true meaning. For those of us who hold positions of influence, the ability to be present, to embody leadership presence, is not only critical for us as individuals, but it also has a ripple effect on those around us : our families and friends, the organisation we work within, the community we live in and the world at large.
Just as a pebble thrown into a still pond can create ripples spreading throughout the whole pond, so too can the cultivation of leadership presence go far beyond the effect it has on us alone.
——– Janice Marturano.