During the last 14 months of isolation and worry, I began a daily practice of yoga. The breathing, focus, and acceptance required in daily yoga practice connects to many of the disciplines a leader must embrace.
First, a leader needs to be 100% present. Deep breathing is a great way to maintain presence and energy. Pausing to take deep breaths can help you power through a long meeting or prepare you for a difficult conversation that will require 100% of your attention and focus. While deep breathing at the start of my daily yoga practice, I focus on Gratitude and Grace. A similar focus combined with deep breathing can be used throughout the day. Implementing these actions while focusing on elements essential for a Meaning-Centered Leadership approach can help you move forward with clarity and purpose.
An essential element of daily yoga practice is a final seated meditation. This time allows for deep focus on creating a relaxed and ready mindset. Allow yourself time throughout the day for quiet and focused contemplation of your work. This allows you to focus on elements of your work that are most impactful for others. Using the Meaning-Centered framework to focus on elements of leadership known to create meaning, can help you make decisions and take actions that engage and empower you while building organizational expertise.
Finally, daily yoga practice requires an equal mix of discipline and acceptance. The discipline to commit to sustained daily yoga practice is similar to the leaders’ need to commit to exemplifying excellence at all times. A leader must have the acceptance to know that the leadership journey, like daily yoga, is a practice. As such, we will never be perfect, but we must seek to constantly improve. Day one of yoga is vastly different from day 100. It is the same with leadership.
Accepting where you are at today, with an eye on improving, will keep you constantly growing and moving forward in your leadership practice. One sure-fire way to grow your yoga practice is to constantly learn and understand your lifelong journey. In leadership, it is much the same. To make the most of your lifelong journey, consider adding Meaning-Centered Leadership to your library. And begin to focus on the elements of leadership that have shown to increase employee well-being, while enhancing organizational outcomes.