Are you awake?

Probably not.

I mean, I know you’re awake because you’re reading this. But are you really awake?

Are you awake to the moment and what’s going on? Are you awake to the opportunities in front of you? Are you awake to what your team (or family) needs from you?

We preach, and try to practice, Thoughtful Leadership. And in order to be a Thoughtful leader, you really have to be awake. But so many of us move through our day, and our tasks, on autopilot.

We sit on a conference call and multitask – and can’t answer a question when it’s posed to us. We notice a direct report, or colleague, acting not quite like themselves, and we choose to ignore it because “who has time for it?” Perhaps paying further attention to him or her, or asking what’s going on, might yield us information we need…and a chance to step in and help. We read through the report that someone sends us, with our mind somewhere else, and don’t notice the gaping error…or typo.

We’re not really awake.

We’re so caught up in what’s bothering us that we miss something delightful that’s right in front of us. We’re angry, or worried, or frustrated, and we forget to tell the people on our team (or in our family) what a great job they’re doing and how much we appreciate them. We’re staring at the ground (or our various mobile devices) and missing the sunset or flowers or smile of a stranger (or friend).

We’re not really awake.

Thoughtful Leadership requires you to be present – actually in the moment and aware of what’s going on; intentional – doing and saying things with purpose, so that you’re being present in the moment can yield you what you need; and authentic – as yourself, aware of your strengths, development areas, comfort zone, etc. Thoughtful Leadership requires you to be awake.

When you step into this level of awakeness, you have so much more to give, and so much more presence with which to lead from. You can notice things more quickly, understand things more fully, and solve problems more effectively. You can connect on a deeper level with those around you (and with yourself).

Are you awake?

Where are you walking through work and life not fully awake?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

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