Mindful leadership drives business results
Leadership coach Aurora Pagonis believes the business community is at an important cross roads.
On the one hand she sees thriving companies with leaders able to align their personal values with those of the organisation while on the other she sees organisations stuck on a treadmill she calls the “insanity loop”.
The insanity loop is where leaders try to create lasting change through “doing a lot of stuff”– hiring, firing, sales training, appointing a new leadership team – only to find any positive changes are fleeting. Before long, the same old business problems re-emerge.
“It is who we are being rather than what we are doing that creates our long-term sustainable results,” says Aurora.
She set up her coaching firm She Speaks nearly three years ago to show leaders another way. She Speaks offers a program that trains executives in mindful self aware leadership. The program draws on Aurora’s 20 years in senior roles in sales and customer/client service across the IT&T and Wellness sectors as well as her coaching experience and deep interest in emotional development.
“I see the way many leaders are facing the challenges and opportunities in business today and what I’m seeing is people across industries and organisations who are exhausted, stretched, and being asked to do more,” she says.
“At a personal level, it is actually quite painful for me to see people who have decided – en masse – that this is all there is, that there isn’t another way.
Mindful self- aware leadership is definitely another way. It enables leaders to access all the capital available in their organisation – financial, emotional and human.
It all starts with the leaders being prepared to develop themselves and helps them to reflect on how they are showing up in the workplace and whether the strategies they deploy are creating a positive or negative result. Particularly in times of high stress when their leadership agendas come into play, and their behaviours and actions may be counter productive.
“Mindful self-aware leadership allows us to take stock of ourselves when we’re challenged by situations, people, conflicts and decisions. When I am up against the wall, do I withdraw? Attack? Cling ? Control ? What natural strengths show up?” says Aurora.
However, it is much more than that. Aurora says Mindful Leaders:
“By focusing on who we are ‘being’, we actually start to change results over the long-term. In my experience working with leaders and leadership teams, these results include a healthier bottom line.”
In the She Speaks program, leaders develop their mindful leadership style across five pillars of strength. They are:
“They learn to become aware of what happens when they are in high stress situations. What natural strengths come to the fore? What strategies are deployed that doesn’t serve them? What impact does this have on the business?”
“Also leaders look at what it is that really inspires them and whether they are actually giving themselves to that?”
“This is about bringing all of ourselves to work. I don’t agree with the idea of having one face for business and another for home. Values should not live on walls but in leaders so they can lead in a new way,” Aurora explains.
“Also, being authentic allows us to have conversations from a place of transparency. When I’m prepared to be vulnerable and really share how I am feeling in a situation, that gives permission to the other person to do the same and in that place we find connection.”
Aurora says mindful awareness trains our “attention muscle” creating more energy, focus and clarity. This improves decision-making abilities.
“Participants find that when they are under pressure, they can work better and draw on more effective strategies,” she says.
“When my day starts with mindfulness, I am able to meet people in a different way with greater clarity and purpose. I also make better decisions and am a lot more productive.”
“There was a time I never thought I would be able to use the word ‘compassion’ and ‘business’ in the same sentence yet this is what we are being called to bring to our work,” says Aurora.
Showing compassion includes letting people know how much they are valued and appreciated. No other leadership behaviour motivates people more to perform to the best of their ability.
5. Personal Responsibility
Leaders who practice mindful awareness take 100% personal responsibility.
“This can feel risky but taking 100% personal responsibility is about having the ability to respond. If I take responsibility, I am actually empowered.”
“Putting energy into blaming others is wasted energy. As soon as I can own a problem, I am empowered to take action to help solve it.”
She Speaks delivers a number of services and events to support mindful self - aware leadership practices and the transformation of business , individuals and community.
As a Leader - are you ready to totally accept your Purpose and Brilliance?
Sometimes it’s hard to shine when you’re under pressure.
It’s a lonely task being the leader. You can feel disconnected. You start to believe that struggle in business is the norm. Blame and politicking are rife. You go into default by withdrawing, disengaging, or attacking.
You protect yourself – by wearing a mask to demonstrate to the world that everything is under control. That you’ve got it all together. But frankly you haven’t.
I believe business can be the conduit to create heaven on earth. It’s like coming home to the Promised Land. A place where things can flourish again – where the barren earth is renewed and enriched. Humanity replaces politics. People feel engaged, alive and inspired.
I help business leaders to see the unseen and light up the darker places within their business – so people can move from survive to thrive.
I show business leaders how to flick on the switch to remember their humanity – so they can then lead from self-awareness, authenticity and inspiration.
I hold them in a loving presence - providing a safe space where they can awaken and remember their purpose.