The defined role and expectations for business leaders have changed over the period of time. Today, they can no longer consider themselves as an isolated island committed merely to the creation of business revenue. Be it delivering value to all stakeholders, contributing to environmental footprints or creating social impacts, business Leaders today have a bigger and more pertinent role to play.
This presses the need for a holistic outlook wherein wholesome leadership forms a quintessential part. It is about framing a clear-cut roadmap and executing actions through self awareness, people awareness and surrounding awareness.
Who is a wholesome leader?
We’ve all known some common leadership traits that holds true for all leaders, irrespective of their industry. This includes having a powerful vision, motivating people to follow that vision, thinking strategically through business options, adding value through innovation, leading teams and people and most importantly conducting themselves as role models for others. All these form an integral part of all leadership programs including executive leadership program.
A wholesome leader is one who is expected to transcend the traditional roles of a business leader and create desired breakthroughs at all levels. All in all, Wholesome Leadership calls for a process that includes three- fold integration:
1 - Self awareness, integration with body and mind
2 - Integration with the people
3 -Integration with the environment.
Mindfulness and self mastery – the pillars of wholesome leadership
Self Mastery and Mindfulness are essential components of wholesome leadership which encompasses both –being self aware and in control of one’s attitudes, thoughts, preferences and mental paradigms. It is the ability to understand mind and its tricks. Technically, it is a survival skill which trains your mind to stay more focused and cognizant in a natural way. Such an approach can be built over time with effective training of the mind.
Mindful leader development practices are being adopted by mega organizations in their leadership training programs. One of the top leadership development program launched by Google called “Search inside Yourself” is a popular course which revolves around the concept of wholesome leadership wherein the employees learn about emotional intelligence and meditation. The course teaches you to master your emotions, train your mind and more importantly, gives you a ‘balanced awareness’ of activities happening around you.
Why wholesome approach is critical to leadership?
Every business aspires to make its mark in the niche industry. Achieving this objective becomes easier through a wholesome approach. Leaders with wholesome ability can build a community where productivity, trust and well-being are closely interwoven.
Wholesome approach helps leaders to connect with others without being judgmental. When a leader is aware of his surroundings including the struggles and strengths of his team, he is able to bring out the best from each of the members.
He masters the art of creating and maintaining a positive attitude throughout the organization. Leading virtual teams, collaborating without friction, acknowledging achievements, giving patient hearing to grievances and more, all paves the way for strong bond between a leader and employee, eventually creating a productive work environment.
Mindfulness and self mastery is also a recognized approach among successful leaders to cope with stress and crisis situations. It forms the basis for initiatives that support “growing together” rather than harnessing the feeling of competitiveness. The Google’s gPause is a step in this direction that aims at building a community where members share problems, solutions, resources etc. to help each other out. A dynamic leader with wholesome perspective too can play an important role in creating a support system where everyone feels empowered and responsible towards achieving the common goals.