Einstein famously said "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it"
Looking at the current state of affairs around the world it seems that we have chosen to ignore this simple truth and repeatedly do things that don’t provide the desired result, while at the same time we are expecting somehow miraculously that “this time,” it will work. I belive that the question each Leader needs to ask
again and again is:
What would it take to make that shift and create a more sustainable economic and a social climate that would benefit our organizations, our employees and ourselves long term?
As leaders we are here to serve the people we lead, we may be guides and mentors, but we are also pupils. We all learn as we go along. So is there a button we can press, a tool we can use?
Let me share my own experince. It was 1991, the time of the Gulf war, and I was working as an Executive Manager with one of the multinational Hotel companies in Athens. Business was declining dramatically. Greece was considered by many too close to the trouble spot.
Not unlike today The climate was one of uncertainty and fear. Companies started to implement measures of cost cutting including letting people go and enforce holidays.
To better deal with the situation internally and become a better leaders externally, I started looking for ways to keep my focus and energy up.
I came across a book on mediation that listed as the benefits of meditation: an increased ability to deal with challenges more calmly, enhanced confidence, focus and clarity.
It sounded intriguing and I felt that I had nothing to loose by trying it. How difficult could it be?
I started with 5 minutes, then 10 and then 20 every day. Soon I noticed some interesting changes:
- I felt more confident and calm.
- I trusted my intuition more
- I was able to better set my priorities.
- I started to feel more positive
- I felt that I made better decisions
Soon a few colleagues joined me and they reported similar shifts.
Were we able to change what was happening around us? No, but our reaction to what was happening had changed. We were able to stay calm and focused and come up with more creative solutions. The people around us could feel the shift and they in turn started to be calmer and more productive.
So how and why does meditation work?
By monitoring brain waves Neuroscientists have found that the practice of meditation shifts brain activity in the cortex (part of our forebrain) - brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. In other words, Meditators feel calmer and happier than they were before.
Have ever observed in yourself how you react to the world around you when you feel calmer and happier? You may have noticed that it is much easier to be understanding, generous, focused and an open. Becoming still and doing nothing enables our brain to rest.
And when we are rested we are able to respond more appropriately to situations and people, and we are able to make better decisions.
An article in the Harvard Business Review looked at meditation as key to Business Leadership. It looked at visionaries like Steve Jobs, Ray Dalio, Bill George who have been know to lead and inspire teams to achieve significant success. They all dad one thing in common – practicing meditation
A study led by psychologist Sara Lazar at Harvard Medical School was the first to document that over time meditation-produced changes in the brain’s gray matter, in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. Meditation has been used in Prisons and disaster areas to help people cope and move on. Meditation has shown to reduce stress and stress related aggression.
Meditation plays also part in the development of Mindfulness.
Why not try it for yourself and your employees? Why not start tomorrow with a 3 minutes daily practice and see how that feels, then slowly increasing this time to 10 or 20 minutes. The easiest way to start is with sitting comfortable, upright and to focus on your in and out breath. Whenever your mind wonders and you notice it simply return to focusing on the breath. Why not do this for a month each day and observe the effect it has on your mind, body and leadership. And if you like to introduce a mindfulness program in your organization then do not hesitate to get in touch. My programs in mindfulness are ususally customized for each team.
with my best wishes for your success!
And if you are interested to find out more about Mindfulness and Meditation and how it can help to reduce Stress in your life and work and enhance Performance then then you may want to join us for our bi-annual retreats.www.morelifemoresuccess.com/retreat.php
"Unplug & Refresh" Mindfulness & Yoga Retreat MAY 12-17, 2017, Aegina, Greece