THE BLOG
08/07/2014 05:44 pm ET Updated Oct 07, 2014

Mindfulness for Success: Top 3 Management Tips

Running a successful business demands attention, especially these days. If you aren't consciously choosing where to put your attention, you're risking everything.

As William W. George, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic, and author of four best-selling books, said:

Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others, and motivating them towards shared goals. Hence, they become more effective in leadership roles.

More effective leadership means a more effective team. You can do the rest of the math.

Mindfulness and Business Strategies

The most basic definition of mindfulness? It's simply paying attention.

As a business strategy, paying attention to the right areas has the potential to yield big results.

A Forbes article by Natalia Karelaia, noted:

Mindfulness can assist in being proactive and identifying when a decision should be made: clarifying the objectives, generating options, avoiding irrational escalation of commitment to a previous bad decision ... as well as recognizing the ethical dimension of the choice to be made.

Top 3 Management Tips

1. Start With Yourself

Bosses, leaders, managers ... you set the tone, you establish the rules. Whatever you're paying attention to is what your sales force will also be focusing on.

"Ambiguity, pressure, accountability, and the need to continuously improve performance forces leaders to look inwards," said Santhosh Babu, in Business Today.

Start looking at yourself. Experiment with the idea of noticing your own patterns, without judging yourself.

What are you telling yourself about your behaviors? What traits and behaviors do you prefer not to notice?

What are you shoving aside because you just don't have enough time to deal?

Pay attention to your strengths. Understand your vulnerabilities. Notice what you're paying attention to.

The powerhouse sales team at Zappos incorporates this philosophy, with undeniable results. As CEO Tony Hsieh said, "The biggest (and hardest) lesson I've learned... is that the external world is just a reflection of the world within."

2. Be Smart With Your Team

Focus on the individual strengths of each person. Understand their vulnerabilities.

The mindful caveat? Beware of judging the weaknesses (yours, too). Remember every single member of the team has them, including you.

How much more successful will your business be when you build a team from strengths?

Conscious strategies result in successful outcomes.

3. Target Your Activities

Business goals can be more efficiently targeted by a well-rounded team. Which results in stronger outcomes overall, lower marketing costs, and a more committed work force.

Here's an infographic that nicely illustrates the steps.

Don Quixote

Management must make consciously targeted, proactive decisions in order to compete in today's fast-changing business climate.

Leaders must learn to work with their team, rather than fighting against it.

You run the risk of becoming a Don Quixote, charging at non-existent adversaries, otherwise. Your sales force is on your side. Right?

The Mindfulness-for-Success Formula

  • Pay attention.
  • Take responsibility for yourself first.
  • Lead from strengths, acknowledging vulnerabilities.
  • Take charge of your sales team, cultivating individual strengths to design a powerful synergistic force.
  • Consciously target strategies.