One of the challenges of being a leader or business owner is the speed of our day and the uncertainty of what lies ahead. This reminds me of a story told by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk and prolific writer on mindfulness.
“There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse. [Read more…]
I recently had a leadership team complete Patrick Lencioni’s “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” assessment. As part of the exercise, the team identified several strategies for team improvement. [Read more…]
“The basic condition of happiness is freedom. If there is something on your mind that you keep thinking about, then you are caught and have no freedom.” (Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk and author)
As 2016 winds down, a number of people I know are still bummed out about the election, the cold weather and overcast days, or are ill. You may find this to be true in your workplace either with co-workers or your staff. Just a lot of grumpiness and pre-holiday stress right now.
So, if you are a leader, you may be wondering, “What can I do to respond to this grumpiness from my staff?” I offer you two responses for your consideration. [Read more…]
Why is it we do the same things over in the same way? Drive the same route to work? Eat with our dominant hand? Find the same locker at the Y? Sleep on the same side of the bed?
We do it because it is familiar, comfortable, we don’t have to think about what we are doing and it is faster than changing to a new habit. However, these are the precise reasons to change our habits – they become routine and we are not engaged.
This is one reason why change is so difficult for us to make – I have to be astutely aware of what I’m doing and feeling so I get it right, I don’t get lost, or I have to remember new co-workers names.
I’ve been asked this question numerous times: “So how does one become mindful in one’s life? What are the practices?”
When I respond that it could be something as simple as enjoying your food, tasting the flavors and enjoying the aroma, I get quizzical looks. Becoming mindful is starting with baby steps, to bring a beginner’s mind to any activity.
Recently, I started using my non-dominant hand (left) to shave with a razor. What a challenge! After several times, I decided to give up. Then, I tried it again and was very conscious and aware of how to position my left hand with the razor on my face so the razor would glide on my face. It’s working and I’m delighted especially since I think of shaving as a waste of time. Now it is not a waste of time and I look forward to increasing my adeptness at shaving. Just a little thing like this brought a sense of joy to me.
So, when we change our habits, we learn how impatient we are, how entrenched we are with the way we do things. But we also learn how many abilities lie dormant within us that can bring joy to our lives.
What are your “baby step” stories of change?
I thought I knew how to breathe properly, until I read an article about breathing, stress and anxiety. Back to the drawing board. [Read more…]
In Thich Nhat Hanh’s Buddhist community, the members practice the 14 Precepts of the Order of Interbeing. They serve as a way for connection to all members, e.g., one’s happiness is not separate from the happiness of others. You can review the list here: 14 Precepts of the Order of Interbeing
This is my attempt to translate the 14 Precepts to leadership behavior. Here I go.
- Do not be bound to any process, system or ways of doing things. None hold absolute perfection.
- Do not think that you know everything. Avoid being narrow-minded and let go of your attachment and possessive nature to your ideas.
- Do not use your corporate position to coerce others to your way of thinking or doing things.
Why are people plugged into their gadgets when:
- walking on the beach,
- sitting on an airplane,
- driving a car,
- doing their work, or
- watching TV?
The list goes on and on. Many of us have witnessed this and many of us have done these things. There’s even a young woman in my neighborhood who walks her dog while reading a book! A habit of mine is to attend a neighborhood outdoor jazz event while reading the paper. After it’s over, I can’t remember what I read let alone tell you what songs they played.
Enjoy the following article: Des Moines Register, Kevin Pokorny, July 15, 2016
“When I awake each morning, fear for my personal safety is the farthest thing on my mind. It is the “to do” list of the day, weather and breakfast. I don’t think about my clients not valuing my services because of my race….” (Continue Reading)