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Mindful Leadership: The 9 Ways to Self-awareness, Transforming Yourself, and Inspiring Others [Hardcover]

Maria Gonzalez

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Book Description

20 April 2012
Become a true leader through Mindfulness If you thought leading a team or organization meant simply creating and implementing a financial plan, delegating responsibility, and watching the bottom line, well, you′re only partly right. True leadership comes from within, a place of deep calm and focus, that allows you to respond to any situation as it arises. In Mindful Leadership , you′ll learn how to draw on those inner reserves through Mindfulness Meditation, a tool you can use to achieve focus and clarity, reduce stress, and develop the presence of mind to meet any number of challenges. The book opens up a world of meditation exercises that can be done anywhere, anytime (no chanting or patchouli required!) and that are the gateway to improved judgment and decision making, improved time management, enhanced team effectiveness, greater productivity, and more on–the–job inspiration and innovation. Details the nine ways in which leaders can incorporate Mindfulness into every aspect of their lives Illustrates how meditation and business actually do mix Essential for anyone interested in anticipating and serving client needs The author coaches executives throughout North America and is quoted widely in the media Offering essential skills for both life and work, Mindful Leadership shows how it′s possible to successfully lead a team, an entire organization—or just yourself.

Frequently Bought Together

Mindful Leadership: The 9 Ways to Self-awareness, Transforming Yourself, and Inspiring Others + The Mindful Leader: Ten Principles for Bringing Out the Best in Ourselves and Others + The Mindful Workplace: Developing Resilient Individuals and Resonant Organizations with MBSR
Price For All Three: 48.12

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From the Inside Flap

Meditation and Business Do Mix...Scented Candles Not Required Effective leaders are self aware and empower those they influence to achieve their potential. Mindful Leadership is a guide to leadership that starts with the self—for business people, members of the public service, professionals, and anyone else in a position to influence others. Maria Gonzalez shows you how to use a single tool—Mindfulness meditation—to achieve clarity, focus, and self–awareness, enabling you to transform yourself and achieve positive results by inspiring those you lead. In this book, you will learn how to use mindfulness to: Achieve greater concentration and productivity Reduce the stresses in your life and manage those that remain Become resilient and sustain high performance over the long term Anticipate and serve stakeholder needs, commu–nicate better, and increase team effectiveness Stay focused on what matters and remain level–headed about what you can′t control Create calm and focus, see clearly under stressful conditions, and make better decisions Mindfulness is a process of training the mind that anyone can follow, and Mindful Leadership provides simple techniques you can use anytime, anywhere, to improve yourself as a leader. Beginning with the simple act of being fully present, mindfulness opens up the 9 ways to become more effective in every aspect of life.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Mindful Leadership "Whether I was running a multi–billion–dollar company or a start–up, I thought I was doing everyone a favor by multi–tasking. I actually believed I was one of the few that could do it well. Maria′s insight and approach have made me realize that I was a distracted and inefficient leader who created stress for both myself and those I led. This book is a must–read for anyone in a position of leadership or a position to impact others in small organizations or large." — Alek Krstajic , CEO of Public Mobile (and former President of Bell Mobility) " Mindful Leadership approaches the subject of leadership and decision–making from an unusual perspective. The insights are practical and useful; the techniques, which are both simple and complex at the same time, are laid out clearly and in fascinating detail." — Greig Woodring , President & CEO, Reinsurance Group of America "Make no mistake about it: this book is a gift. A gift to all busy leaders, managers, and individuals who wish to make a difference for themselves and, above all, for those around them. Looking beyond the razor–edge of Key Performance Indicators and hard outcomes, it deals with changing the way one looks at leadership, bringing authenticity and values to the fore, and achieving more for all in the process. Management meets meditation to provide something simply awesome and awe–inspiring for those fortunate enough to read this and be open to its wisdom. It′s a much needed new way of living and thinking, like a breath of fresh air to chase those blue cobwebs away from our minds, recharge our energy, and add gracious purpose to our lives. Thank you!" — Sandra Macleod , FIPR, CCIM, GCE, Echo Research (U.K.)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful and inspiring list of learnable skills 8 Jan 2013
By Frank Striefler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Over this holiday break, I picked up the book "Mindful Leadership." I bought it based purely on the title, with little expectations - it had no ratings or reviews when I placed the order. I believe that everybody can benefit from understanding the nine ways the Maria Gonzales identifies. The author makes the case that we're all a leader since a leader is anybody with the opportunity to influence another being - regardless of our seniority, age or social status. Buy the book. Here is a quick recap to wet your appetite:

Being present is the biggest gift you can give and is the starting point of being a mindful leader. The key to being present is pairing intention with attention. Be in the moment regardless of circumstance. Never waste energy and time regretting the past or fretting the future.

Observe how others take in what you're saying and see if you have buy-in or doubters. Scan and study the non-verbal conversation. Beyond just words, listen with the "third ear" to the intonation and conviction with which people speak. Truly listen to what someone says, rather than what you wish they had said or what you fear they have said. Slow down, wait in order to hear, hear in order to listen, and listen in order to speak.

Being aware starts with being receptive. Be mindful of arising thoughts and feelings at any given moment - don't be blindsided or hijacked by your emotions. However, don't suppress what you are experiencing. Don't interfere, just notice.

Being aware also means noticing how you affect others. Constantly observe how your words, your actions, your demeanor and energy impact those around you. Be receptive and listen for possibilities, without judgment. Stay in a constant feedback loop in the world and the interconnectedness of all things.

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to have a conversation with someone who is relaxed? While some people appear to have a greater tendency toward calmness, the good news is that calmness and relaxation are readily learnable.

A leader that remains calm under any circumstance is invaluable. If you're less impulsive, you can respond appropriately instead of being reactive. Keeping control in any situation assures others that a difficult task is manageable. Employees following a calm leader can face challenges with smart problem solving rather than emotional panic.

Concentrate on whatever is a priority in any given moment. Give your attention to only one task at a time. Keep distractions in the background while focusing on the task at hand. Focus allows you to be fully present in meetings from beginning to end without your mind wandering.

Studies show that people spend up to 50% of their time not thinking about the task at hand. Add to that the fact that the average worker gets interrupted every 11 minutes and it takes about 25 minutes to get back to the original task. Focus is extremely important for productivity.

Multitasking is the greatest barrier of our ability to focus and the most overrated skill, acting as a bad excuse for our inability to concentrate. In fact, multitasking (aka being distracted) is so ingrained in our culture that we admire it instead of demonizing it for killing efficiency & effectiveness.

Being clear comes back to understanding what drives you and what's important in the grand scheme of things - knowing why you do what you do. Lead from your core and use your internal compass for guidance, inspiration and comfort.

Be clear about your company's vision and mission, your own life purpose, commitment, motives, choices and intentions, your thoughts and emotions and your expectations for yourself and others. Speaking mindfully means you say only what is necessary - no more, no less.

You say what you mean and you mean what you say. In fact, making clarity a priority signals to everyone in your organization that this is your expected standard. This will prompt others to be more rigorous and disciplined in communicating as well.

With equanimity - which means being of an even, composed frame of mind - you become aware of what can and what cannot be changed. Equanimity is the ability to make better decisions, see opportunities previously unseen, and to accept "what is" non-judgmentally, without resistance or anger.

To practice this skill, one need to accept that not everything needs to be ideal in order to be content. This does not mean hiding disappointment, but rather address the problem with a composed demeanor and avoid getting personal.

Intention and a can-do attitude are very powerful forces in solving problems and seizing opportunities. Set your mind on positive outcomes and they will manifest. For instance, before a meeting, spend a few minutes thinking about what your objectives are for the meeting. Train yourself to expect the best by imagining the best outcomes.

Catch yourself in negative self-talk and don't tolerate any mental abuse in your head. Don't tolerate pessimism in others either. Be a positive force for yourself and your colleagues. You probably noticed that when you're grumpy, things don't go your way. Be grateful, for it increases the chance that something good happens to you.

Don't fear being soft or sensitive. Compassion takes guts. True compassion is about caring without attachment to the outcome. Don't let your ego get in the way. Develop your compassion with deliberate acts of kindness.

Enroll people on projects as co-conspirators, not subjects, with a clear sense of contribution and significance. I call it "people over projects." People want to feel seen, heard and understood by the leader, not just act as tools for completing work.

Mindful leaders are impeccable in their words and deeds - which should not be mixed up with being perfect. You can't be perfect all the time, but you can try your best every time. Try to leave a situation always better than you found it.

Be results-oriented. Foster a climate of accountability, responsibility, creativity and change. Operate with a wise mind: no blame, no attack, no judgment, don't control. Admit if you felt short of your own expectations - showing humanity will build trust with your team.

The author provides also a final thought: we are here to serve.

As leaders, we are responsible for creating an environment full of positive energy nurturing everyone you have the privilege to influence. Mindfulness training makes you realize that you are a spiritual being in a human existence, realizing that you are here to serve the world for the benefit of all beings.

In my opinion, mindful leadership can be your key to organizational health. It unifies people and harmonizes your culture. I think it's fair to argue that every meeting and project would be better off with more mindfulness practiced by all.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for leadership coaches and consultants 19 Dec 2012
By Christine D. Trani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a leadership coach and consultant, I highly recommend this book. It serves as a great resource for me as I work with my own clients to consider the benefits of a mindfulness practice. Maria presents mindfulness in a clear, concise, manner and offers examples that are highly relevant for leaders. She also presents a variety formal techniques that are "user-friendly" and immediately applicable for use during coaching sessions or as suggested assignments for the client to explore between coaching sessions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Application of Buddhist Mindfulness Practice and Psychological Principals to Leadership 11 April 2013
By John Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Mindful Leadership: The 9 Ways to Self-Awareness, Transforming Yourself, and Inspiring Others is the most practical application of Buddhist Mindfulness practice principles and Buddhist thinking to leadership that I have yet read. In a "no-nosense" manner. author Maria Gonzalez takes readers through nine ways those who find themselves in leadership positions can engage in practices that foster authenticity, integrity, and centeredness as they try to lead and influence others. With meditation practice as the core of mindfulness training, leaders can learn how to simply be more "present" as they engage in their daily jobs. Gonzalez truly provides clear practices that any leader, Buddhist or not, can implement and become powerful leaders of their organizations. This is one of the most powerful leadership books I have read this year, and whether you are Buddhist or not, you will find gems of wisdom and strategies that make you a better leader.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radical Mind Shift 25 Nov 2012
By DaveO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book claims to be about leadership but the ideas can be applied to all situations and is valuable reading for anyone. At first I was tempted to dismiss the suggestions in the book as they are very radical, especially to those of us in the developed western world; many of the ideas appear to come from Buddhist meditation techniques. The more I read, however, the ideas made sense and their application could make me more effective in my business and personal life. It is not easy to apply these concepts and it will require hours of work but I think that it will be worth the effort.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be more effective in their daily life; whether they are in a leadership role or not. The book is clear and easy to read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read 12 May 2014
By John Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was never the Yoga/meditation guy.

This book thought me a lot and enabled me to train my mind to be present.

Before I read this book I would bet that it will never happen.

Great read and life changer.
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