As a leader, you understand the importance adapting to changes and disruptions. Leaders who are most effective understand the value leaning into their team and trusting them to make the right choice or fail upwards. Let me explain what I mean by that.
When you want to drive from NYC to Killington, VT you have many options. Most fall into three categories:
* state highways
All will eventually get you where you want to go. Interstates tend to be more of a straight shot, you drive faster, hold more people in 3-4 lanes of traffic each direction, but you see less of the countryside. State highways tend to be more meandering, slower (2 lane), but you see more interesting sites (such as the cow painted moose’s or the glowing hot pink greenhouses). Backroads are much slower, might even get you lost in deadness, but have a far greater chance of adventure and way better stories.
Decision making is often thwarted by the fear of making the wrong choice. It’s like the three kinds of routes. Some decisions will get you there faster and easier. Nothing really to think about, you choose, boom, you’re done, move on.
Some choices will lead to a dead ends or failure. You can get stuck there or you can backtrack, regroup, and reroute. Boy, don’t those lead to some wisdom (and interesting stories)!
Adapting means there is no wrong choice.
As a leader, you’re best serving your organization by reserving your resources for finding the best route and making the significant decisions. Success in markets continually being disrupted requires adapting and making decisions quickly. If you’re bogged down worrying about what route to take, so to speak, you’ll never get “there”.
Encourage, support and trust your team to make the less critical, though still important decisions. They make take the wrong route. It may take longer to arrive than expected. Yet, the wisdom that comes with the journey is enormous. As they are able to take risks, learn from mistakes and self-correct, they begin to make better choices, faster. They master self-efficacy and autonomy, two critical skills for a highly functional teams.
Engaging in a daily mindfulness practice trains you for flow state, preparing you to make the larger, more complex decisions that require immediate action faster and more effectively. Additionally, it allows you to be more productive. As risks rise, so do responsibilities, so productivity is important.
Mindfulness also allows you to enjoy the journey. Even if things are not going as planned, you are equipped to stay calm and focused, creative, listening, and effectively solving problems. Most likely, you are also able to better empower your team to function at a higher level which is good for everyone.
Do you currently have a daily mindfulness practice? Share yours in the comments. If you don’t, what’s stopping you? I’d love to hear from YOU!
Join me May 6-15 in Bhutan for a yoga adventure!
Also published on Medium.