by Jennifer Sellers
What does it mean to be a conscious leader, to live and lead consciously? I found a simple – but not necessarily easy – practice of conscious leadership in the book The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Warner Klemp.
I first came across the book when a client, the CEO of an explicitly conscious company, recommended it to me. When I heard the title, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, I thought, “I’m sure there’s something good in it because I trust this client,” but I didn’t expect to discover much that was new. I wasn’t all that inspired. I finally got around to reading it about three months later, and WOW. It’s true, I didn’t find a lot that was new, but I did find so much of what I’ve learned in a lifetime put together in an exceptionally fresh and accessible way.
It’s inspired me so much that I’ve recommended and keep recommending it whenever I can. A foundational idea of the book is a way of looking at conscious leadership – and conscious living – as being open, curious, and committed to learning, as opposed to being closed, defensive, and committed to being right. There it is, simple but not easy, right?
by Jennifer Sellers
I felt the grip as I rounded the first corner. I was on one of my usual routes in our desert-scape neighborhood, accompanied by my walking buddy, Tia, a rather reactive but usually smiling black-coated retriever mix. Was there a coyote, a javelina, a bobcat…as is often the case these sunrise mornings? No, the subtle feeling came from inside me.
I had a thought, and then there was the grip. The thought was about a conversation later in the day with a potential client. I had completed a Phase I project for this group and was to talk with one of the leads about whether and what Phase II is. On the one hand, I was looking forward to the conversation, to connecting, and to seeing if there is a way in which I can be of service. On the other hand, my fight-flight-freeze nervous system felt threatened, perhaps for no good reason other than that’s what it does.
by Kate Harper
I was recently introduced to lojong, a centuries-old Buddhist practice for training the mind in compassion. As Pema Chodron describes it, lojong contains “fifty-nine pithy slogans that remind us how to awaken our hearts.” The slogans point to practical instructions for ways to awaken amidst the beauty and difficulty of the world.
I was struck by lojong’s use of pithy sayings as invitations (or exhortations) to practice a different way of engaging with what is right in front of us. And that made me think, this is what we created with Pause, Inspired Mastery’s book and card set of 52 practices for leaders.
Hang on for a minute. Before you think I’ve gone crazy, I am not comparing Pause to lojong as an important spiritual text. I’m not saying Pause is the path to enlightenment. And yet, Pause is a set of concise practices, with pithy quotes, that invite a different way of engaging with what is right in front of us. The Pause practices open possibility, expand awareness, and cultivate presence. In pausing and inviting a new perspective, we access our natural resourcefulness and open-heartedness.
by Sheri Boone
“I was destined to have this card today,” or, “God sent me this card.” Those are some of the reactions Donna Iacopucci, Executive Vice President of Entelechy, Inc. gets when using the Pause book and cards in Entelechy’s core program, Unleash your Leadership Potential.
“When I do a train the trainer, I use them during the training and I give participants their own copy so they can use them during and after the training. I walk around the room, fan out the 52 cards, and say, ‘Pick a card.’ Everyone picks one and I ask them to read their card, then I read the corresponding section from the book aloud. People have positive responses such as, ‘I was destined to have this card today,’ or, ‘God sent me this card.’”
Donna noted that after the training, leaders and managers love having the cards on their desks. People will pick one card for the day and post it on their computer. “They help everybody be a better leader,” she says.
The word, entelechy, comes from the Latin for “unlocking potential.” Entelechy specializes in customized management and leadership development programs and customer service training for clients such as Direct TV and CA Technology.
In their core program, Unleash your Leadership Potential, Pause book and cards are used in the training as well as given out as gifts to trainers and senior leaders. Donna teaches her clients about the importance of taking a pause to reflect on the moment and their leadership.
Thank you very much to Donna Iacopucci and Entelechy, Inc. for your meaningful and powerful work!
You may contact Donna at: UnleashYourLeadership.com
by Jen Sellers
One way to think bigger is to question the thoughts you’re having. Questioning your thoughts requires you to know what they are. Knowing what they are requires self-awareness. And self-awareness requires practice.
Begin by just noticing any thoughts you’re having, any time you can. You might take a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days to practice this step. Notice whether each thought that you become aware of evokes a positive, a negative, or a neutral feeling in your body and your psyche. Just this much may lead you to insights.
Listen to this practice here:
by Jen Sellers
“Mindfulness” and “mindful leadership” are buzzwords in business today, but they are concepts that people have practiced for thousands of years. And self-awareness – a form of mindfulness – is one of the basic components of emotional intelligence, a suite of traits that is more and more valued in the workplace.
The components of mindfulness are simple. It is present-moment awareness without judging something good or bad. Any time a leader looks at something with an open, curious mind, he or she is practicing mindfulness. A flurry of studies shows that even short-term mindfulness practices can bring many, many benefits, including increased physical health, emotional health, focus, and memory; and decreased stress, depression, and hostility.