What Does Mindful Leadership Look Like?

Creating breathing space and taking intentional pauses may be the best thing you can do to be more aware as a leader. And it won’t only benefit you—others will notice your shift.

What does mindful leadership look like? That’s what I wondered as I traveled to upstate New York for a retreat led by Janice Marturano. She’s the founder of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, and its slogan is “finding the space to lead.”

At Mindful we’re trying to create an organization that does just that: leaves space for ideas and best practices to emerge. So I was intrigued to find out how this four-day retreat might inform my own role as a leader.

The truth is, when the pressure’s on at work (or any other area of my life), I fall under an all-too familiar spell: the feel- ing that everything is urgent. And then when I’m operating at top speed, I’m dogged by the sense that I’m missing something important. It’s not ideal. In fact, it’s the opposite of spacious. But it’s the way the world seems to work, isn’t it? As leaders, we don’t just have to keep up, we need to speed ahead of the pack, right?

So the idea of creating time and space to step back and gain perspective can o en feel like a pipe dream. It sure felt like that as I and the…