7 Practices Incredible Leaders Never Neglect

When you contain control of the internal direction of your attention, you will no longer stand in shallow water but will launch out into the deep of life”, as written by Neville in the Power of Awareness.Recently working with a client, she was so joy-filled in her practice of awareness. Awareness, as she described was like opening gift after gift. She couldn’t wait to see what the next gift contained.We went on to discuss how amazingly simple is the concept and practice of awareness, and how the gift of awareness is an incredible tool for leadership and life. Sure, becoming aware and practicing awareness may seem awkward at first, but it is like a muscle that hasn’t been exercised for a while. And with practice, awareness will become well-developed and second nature for you.How do we practice the art of awareness? Below are a few simple steps to move from the shallow water into the depths of life:

  • Develop an awareness mindset. Think of awareness like breathing. Breath is required for life, just as awareness is required for living. Without awareness, we just go through the motions.
  • Begin with self-awareness, going inward instead of observing outward.
  • Just stop…thinking, doing, planning, and just be still (start with just a few moments and build your time each day).
  • Write or journal every day. Don’t worry about editing or even what you will write. Just write whatever comes to you. You will see some patterns emerge.
  • Sit with those thoughts and reflect on what you have written.
  • Expand your inner, self-awareness to the external world; only this time, look and listen to the small things like the hum of the air-conditioner, the chirping of the birds, or the very tiny ant moving in front of you.
  • Listen to what is not being said at the next meeting you attend. Observe the way your team members talk and move. What comes to light that you previously missed?

When you start practicing these activities, you will start to notice a completely new world. You will wonder when the birds moved into a tree near your back yard, notice how exquisite the mountains or sunsets look, and a host of other gifts that previously went unnoticed. You will find the beauty in new gifts arriving to and for you daily. You will find the extraordinary in the ordinary.I would love to hear your thoughts, which of these steps could you most apply in your daily life?All my best,Maria

3 Ways To Build Leadership With Self-Awareness

I worked with a client who wanted to improve her leadership skills. She was very bright, had an MBA, and was in a mid to high-level leadership position in her organization. Her challenge was connecting with people. We started working, as I always do, with awareness. She was so joy-filled in her practice of awareness, equating this recognition to opening a beautiful gift, only to find another gorgeous gift waiting for her. She asked me why more people don’t know about living in a state of awareness. This was a great question.We must first be self-aware before we can begin effective, meaningful relationships with others. As a leader, awareness is the foundation on which to build your leadership skills. Don’t get me wrong, many leaders go about their day-to-day activities unconsciously leading, struggling, and wondering why it is so darn hard. The answer is that we must first effectively lead ourselves if we are to lead others successfully. Again, this boils down to self-awareness.Here are three steps to get started today.We do inventories of items before we order more. We assess our bank accounts before a large purchase, and we assess our employees before we begin appraisals. Why would we not assess ourselves in leadership roles with a deep dive into self-awareness? Awareness, like breathing, is essential to life, to living, and to leading. Without awareness, we’re just sleepwalking, unconsciously going through the motions of an unlived life.With self-awareness, we gain clarity of our values and of our vision with purpose and direction. We no longer sleepwalk through life. As leaders, our responsibility is to lead movement with vision and conviction, or we’re ineffective leaders. The beautiful aspect of this clarity is the meaningful way in which we lead, inspire, and motivate others.As always, I would love to hear from you. When was the moment when you became fully aware? What are some steps you use to stay in awareness?With love,Maria