Mindful Command: the way of the evolving leader - Business Leader News

Mindful Command: the way of the evolving leader

“This is an immensely valuable book for anyone who would like to understand what good leadership behaviours look like and would like to improve their own leadership.” – Paul Ettinger, Chairman and Co-Founder of TALENTBANQ

Sally-Anne Airey, a leadership coach, has dedicated more than four decades to mastering the art and expertise of leadership. With a background as a former Royal Navy officer, she serves as the visionary behind Skilful Leaders and the Evolving Leadership programme, designed for leaders and influencers who are deeply committed to making a positive impact on the world.

This book delves into the core principles of effective leadership: what truly counts, why it is successful, and how any leader can enhance their efficacy and global influence. It provides a lucid portrayal of exemplary leadership qualities and introduces a straightforward, innovative conceptual framework for its continual development across one’s lifetime.

Here is an excerpt from Mindful Command: the way of the evolving leader by Sally-Anne Airey.

What does it mean to be a truly good leader?

My own experience has led me to this conclusion: leadership starts with who we are and how we impact others. It’s engaging people to get the right things done, in such a way that everyone flourishes.

In all the leaders I’ve known, what distinguishes the good from the great is the capacity to quieten all the voices in their head and speak only from their own true voice. They are at one with themselves. When they speak, people listen.

People have been leading one another for as long as they have been walking the earth, and countless people have shared theories, models, tools, and advice about how to lead well. Now I’m distilling from my own experience this guide to what really matters in leadership, why it works, and how you can develop more of it for yourself.

The central thread is a leadership framework – Mindful Command – that I’ve developed over some years of teaching our Evolving Leadership programme. It’s a holistic foundation for clear, courageous, compassionate leadership that has been tried, tested, and refined several times over.

This unusual juxtaposition of apparently contradictory ideas – mindful and command – stems from my own experience of leadership and mindfulness. The command in Mindful Command speaks to what I learned about leadership in my naval career: clarity of intent and delegated freedom of action. The mindful in Mindful Command comes from my own mindfulness practice and relates to a leader’s level of awareness, presence, and impact.

There’s nothing military or directive about Mindful Command. Separately, mission command and mindfulness stand alone. Together, they help you cultivate the capacity to show up, whatever the circumstance, as your clear, calm, centred self, confident of doing the right thing.

This means being at one with yourself and is like having an inner space you call your ‘safe haven’, akin to a state of inner peace. You’re clear about what matters. You hold your ground, you speak truth, and you have the courage to do what is right.

To support this, the Mindful Command framework has four interconnecting elements:

  • Balanced awareness – seeing things as they are
  • Clear purpose – being clear about what matters
  • Fearless compassion – cultivating the courage to do the right thing
  • Inner stability – standing calmly for what matters

Balancing your awareness, clarifying your purpose, stabilising your centre, and acting compassionately are all things you can learn to do. With the methodology, tools, and practices of Mindful Command you can integrate them into your way of being. Over time they become the stable ground on which your skilful leadership can evolve.

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