How to Increase Agility Mindset to Better Lead in These Challenging Times
Would you like to ride the transformation wave instead of sinking?
Would you like to be able to quickly adapt and lead your organization to the cutting edge?
A crucial aspect of mindful leadership is learning how to respond to change from an efficient place. A large factor is having the ability to let go. But, what does “letting go” mean, and how does it increase leadership agility and enable you to react quickly in the face of transformation? As we become more mindful of the here and now, we are able to react accordingly, without stubbornly clinging to our previous expectations or the ideas that we’ve envisioned for ourselves.
Let me give you an example. I once partnered with someone for a business venture. We had a beautiful vision of working together, but, as the days passed, it became clear that we were not a good fit. Our outlooks on business were not in sync with one another. Although diversity of thought can be positive, there was just too large a gap between us. In the back of my mind, I fully understood that we were not a good fit, but emotionally, it was very difficult to let go of the vision I’d had in my mind from the onset of our partnership.
The biggest obstacle to moving past our barriers is the inability to let go. Letting go can be one of the most challenging things to accomplish in real life because it can feel as if we are losing an element of control. In truth, however, we must learn to develop the ability to know where we are heading, without knowing exactly how we will get there. It requires us to be open minded and willing to experience some uncertainty. Letting go and accepting what is, instead of what you wish it were, can be emotionally challenging, but it’s an ongoing process and is crucial in maintaining an agile mindset.
Research has shown that meditation increases our brain plasticity and enables us to quickly adapt and change automatic patterns that have become nonproductive. In my courses, I ask my students to relive this kind of experience, namely the clinging part of us, and also the need to let go. At first, I ask the participants to bring into mind a situation in which they have succeeded and were pleased with themselves and invite them to let go of the thoughts and feel it in their body, in their sensations, and in their emotions. I then ask them to bring into mind an experience in which they haven’t succeeded, that, in their perception, they have failed. Then I invite them to let go of the thought and process it in their body, in their sensations, and in their emotions again.
When I do this exercise myself, I actually feel it in my body and usually, these memories arise with feelings of frustration, anger, disappointment, and more. I am happy when these feelings all go away, or when the time for the exercise is over. However, when practicing the positive experience, my body is alive with great energy that I don’t want to end. In either case, the act of acknowledging this feeling of not wanting to let go, clinging, and the desire that this feeling will stay, is part of understanding everything that we experience through embodiment. The act of acknowledging the clinging feeling of not wanting to let go is the first step in developing an agile mindset.
Life is continually changing. Naturally, we want to hold on to that which is familiar to us, be it something positive or otherwise. But through reflecting and understanding that all things are impermanent — our negative experiences and our positive ones — we can begin to truly experience life in a present and mindful fashion.