Yoga of Leadership Excerpt: Beginner’s Mind

The following excerpt is copyrighted material. It is excerpted from the upcoming book:  Yoga of Leadership by Pomerantz, Lang and Eiting.
The secret to staying humble as a confident leader is to bring a beginner’s mind to every situation.  We know what we know.  We need to trust what we know, but the beginner’s mind allows us to look for nuances, to slow down into our breath.  It is more about feeling than intellectualizing.  It is about awareness of our feelings in the moment and recognizing them as feelings, which are distinct from, and as valid as, our thoughts. If we can slow down, we can begin to be aware in the moment.  Mastery is never giving up the beginner’s mind.  Where do you find confidence?  You have to know your stuff, but the moment you think you know is when your competitors jump in and kill you.  As a leader, you are always acting from your internal state, but if you are not tuning in to that internal state, you are likely unaware of the impact you are having on others.  You’ll often see leaders who show up as talking heads.  Not only are many of today’s leaders detached from the people they lead, but they are detached from their own feelings, their own being, their own embodiment. This is the source of stress, overwhelm, and inner chaos.  This is the state of our business leaders today and it paints a dark picture of the future of our economy and our global community.
In yoga as in business, you can tell when something’s broken.  Where there is no flow in the physical vehicle, whether your body or the organizational vehicle, you know something is broken. A leader can bring us back to our comfort zone through embodied awareness, and create a field in which to investigate where the flow is stuck or otherwise not working.  We can do a corporate diagnostic on the body of the organization just as we can do a physical diagnostic on a human body. This involves knowing how to get back to center.  What is at the heart of your organization’s (or team’s) core capabilities?

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