Mindfulness Is an Excellent Way for Leaders to Control Their Busy Brains
As we mentioned in the previous blog post on Why Mind Full Leaders Are Slow and Incompetent Decision Makers, leaders need to switch from mind full to mindful mode in order to make better decisions — based on better thinking — that result in better outcomes.
One result of being in mind full mode is the inability to control thoughts.
Having restless, uncontrollable, unpredictable, and fluctuating thoughts running through the brain is often called “monkey brain.” These thought patterns can often hold leaders hostage, causing an unwillingness to take action or make decisions accompanied by fear, anxiety, stress, and negativity.
Why are leaders so susceptible to monkey brain? It comes from the constant, almost ceaseless barrage of decisions to make, risks to weigh, opportunities to scrutinize, people issues to deal with, and various other challenges. When the brain does not get a break from these never-ending issues that must be dealt with, it gets overwhelmed and besieged with a desire to enforce its own cognitive break. Monkey mind is the brain’s way of fighting back when overworked and overstimulated.
Mindfulness is an excellent way to re-take control over monkey brain. A few quiet moments of calm introspection, or simply giving the brain a break by focusing on something peaceful and soothing, helps quiet monkey brain activity and thoughts. This will defuse the rhetoric cascading around your head and let you regain concentration and focus on what you should be attending to in the present moment.
Every business and every organization runs on thinking. Every leader makes decisions and acts as a result of his or her thinking processes. Hence — and this is very important in the information overload world in which all leaders operate — it is not just what you think, but how you think that makes a difference in the outcomes you generate.
As you will see in a series of forthcoming blog posts, stress is a major factor impacting the decision-making process and the decisions of mind full leaders.
This article is partially excerpted from my award-winning book Better Decisions Better Thinking Better Outcomes: How to go from Mind Full to Mindful Leadership, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. The book is the recipient of a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association for bringing “a comprehensive plan of action for improving life through recognizing decision-making patterns that don’t serve us well, don’t enrich our lives, and don’t bring us to our goals and dreams.”