Mindful Leadership 2.0

Creating Productive Organisations

31st May 2017 – Westpac Group – Tower 2, Barangaroo

Learning the art of leveraging mindfulness. 

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Event Program

Creating Productive Organisations

In an environment of constant change and increasing pressure of delivering more with less, improving productivity has become key a priority faced by senior leadership teams.

The demand to constantly perform and deliver results has increased stress levels and therefore impacted productivity of employees. According to Safe Work Australia, stress is costing the country’s business sector more than $10 billion every year.

Furthermore, with more than 50% employees disengaged in the workplace, improving productivity has become even more critical.

Mindfulness is gaining popularity in many organisations and our intention is to explore how it can improve organisational productivity through improved leadership capability and employee engagement. Improved productivity can be a result of various initiatives such as improved focus, effective stakeholder engagement, team cohesion and collaboration to name a few.
We decided to invite some of Australia’s top mindful experts and their clients to have a practical conversation around how mindful leadership can create productive outcomes for businesses.

We asked our guest speakers what Mindful Leadership means to them

(click on their names for their LinkedIn profiles)

Mindful leadership to me is being open to everything that is going on around me and creating the time to really focus on each task, each team member and each and every opportunity so that I can give the best of myself
One of the Productivity Ninja characteristics is “Human not Superhero”. This promotes empathy and helps us with the understanding of what is in the present moment. We need to know where we are before we can begin the journey to wherever we are going, such as our goals and vision. Mindful leadership is about being present. Being present with others as well as ourselves.  

Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, former Chief Paediatrician NSW

I fell into leadership unexpectedly and unprepared. Once there I went to great lengths to acquire the appropriate knowledge. However, what has served me best is an inherent empathy and interest in people. This helped me care, listen and communicate effectively.
I feel like mindful leadership is the opportunity for all of us, not just leaders, to check-in when we feel triggered by our emotions. When I say check-in I mean stop, consider the reaction you are having to your circumstances, breathe, and then override the brains wiring to do or say something dumb, and proceed to manage how you behave. People take note of that. That’s mindful leadership.
To me, Mindful Leadership is having absolute clarity around what is really important and being guided by my moral compass in pursuing this. If I can go home each evening, look in the mirror and be proud of the person I see, then I believe I have succeeded as a leader. As Martin Luther King told us, “the time is always right to do what is right”
Mindful leadership embodies many qualities ranging from emotional intelligence (including self-awareness and self-regulation), to authenticity, empathy & compassion. It’s taking the time to align one’s values with core leadership strengths whilst leading by example. It’s listening and empowering others to draw from their strengths, operate through their core values and live mindfully. Mindful leadership grounds leaders so that during challenging times and periods of change, they possess the confidence, discipline and focus to navigate and lead fearlessly.
For me, mindful leadership is about having awareness of yourself and others so that you can lead with the heart, inspire a shared vision and act with courage. It’s about knowing that as human beings what we need most is connection, acknowledgement, trust and support. If this is your focus, amazing things can happen.
Mindful leadership allows every situation to be governed by wisdom, making humans the leader’s focus.
For me, mindful leadership is about being aware of who I am, why I do what I do, and understanding the impact my actions have on those around me, in the moment in which it’s happening.  Ultimately, it comes down to connection.
Great impact come from the right actions, taken through conscious choices, arising from calm, clear attention to what matters. Mindful leaders intentionally shape how and where people place their attention. Using compassionate wisdom, they spark the intrinsic motivation of their people to do good, and create the environment for that

David Rudd, Head of HR Systems, Compliance and Reporting, Uniting

The capability of leaders, to work together, to create an environment where fostering team play and compassion, being fully present, creating time and space to focus on what is important and engineering sustainable productivity are valued.
This is the transformation required to truly thrive in a world saturated with information, distractions and self-promotion. The wellbeing of self and others is dependent on the quality and authenticity of mindful leadership

Mindful leaders are consciously aware of their surroundings and purposefully keep their focus in the present with the intention to make a difference for the future. As a leader, it is important we become more aware of our emotions and the emotions of the people around us who we are influencing and guiding to be the best version of themselves. Emotions drive us to make decisions, impact our thoughts to opt-in to the journey, and make us advocates or detractors of the strategy. When we are consciously there for our team, leading from the front with them, sharing our experiences and always listening first to understand and then to be understood, we are achieving mindful leadership and making a difference every day.
Mindful Leadership has been a fascinating journey for me towards authenticity and focus in a particularly stressful time. My facade as a smug multi tasker has been stripped away to show what I knew deep down was true – I was stressed and inefficient. Gone is that crazy treadmill. Working with focus is a lot more fulfilling and authentic. Who knew?
‘Mindful leadership is about getting beyond yourself as a leader and holding a space for individuals to grow, learn, and thrive. It’s about slowing down in order to accelerate, and creating space for the whole person to show up to work, rather than defining people by titles, roles, or functions. The more mindfully we lead, the more connected we become to each other, to teams, and to the purpose of our organisation.’
Mindful Leadership comes from a combination of self-awareness, self-compassion, wisdom and authenticity. A leader who is aware of, and can regulate their own responses to difficult situations in a positive way and remains authentic to who they are, will lead by example. A Mindful Leader will draw out the best qualities in an organisation’s human resource by making them feel valued and respected no matter how big or small their role in that organisation.
Mindful Leadership is the full integration of the world’s most advanced self awareness practices into the specific, researched skillsets of leadership.Mindful Leadership is the way forward to a more sustainable and conscious world – the kind we want our children to grow up in
To me, mindful leadership involves the capacity to observe how you are thinking, feeling and sensing so that you can proactively shape how you react to events, people, uncertainty, in a way that corresponds with your values and gets you out of autopilot. It is developed through intentional practice and supported by listening deeply, staying open to and accepting new and emerging data, and being aware of one’s own biases and limitations
Mindfulness – being present, doing my best to make sense of experiences and the actions of others, their impact on me, my actions and their impact on others, not judging based on what I first see – these are all the things that sustained me through that period. To me that was about taking personal responsibility or personal leadership if you will. Now in senior leadership roles I pay even more attention to how I lead, to the decisions I make and their impact on others. It doesn’t mean I am immobilised from making tough calls. It means tough or not there is a deeper awareness and thoughtfulness that sits with me now when I do. To me that is mindful leadership – the juncture of personal and professional leadership.

Leading with the heart and bringing out the best out of the people that are entrusted to you. Being incredibly present and in the moment with your people & making an impact.
Creating & making teams & individuals achieve more than they thought possible. As the leader you set the tone & the belief. “The leader’s job is to see the best in human beings who have never caught sight of the best within themselves” captured perfectly by Robin Sharma

Mindful Leadership is about modelling strong self-awareness, leading from the heart and positively valuing the unique talents of each of your people to generate the conditions in which creativity and innovation can thrive. Enabling your team with mindful skills allows authentic collaboration and a mindset conducive to taking risks and testing ideas, while effectively managing both individual and organisational challenges and setbacks. In this way, mindful leaders can genuinely inspire, engage and support the creative human potential around them to develop truly innovative solutions.
Mindfulness is the practice of self-observation without judgement, resulting in a clear mind and ability to focus on what matters most. In today’s business world, we’re overloaded with distractions. Leadership requires balancing a long term vision with short term priorities, and practices of mindfulness help leaders to consistently create the space in their minds to bring their vision for the future into the activities in the present. The result of mindful leadership is an increasing alignment of external measures of success with the underlying values of individuals in the organisation.

How Is This Event Different?

  • The day is focused on understanding your challenges and ensuring the program meets your needs

  • Attendees will experience practical exercises after each panel to enable them to apply the learnings in the workplace

  • Your team can come together for a day to discuss how to implement the ideas to improve individual and team productivity

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