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Mindful Leadership

Mindful Leadership Creates Winning Teams

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We can often find examples of Mindful leadership in sports, especially when we examine a winning game.  And we were treated to real Mindful leadership in soccer, in the Champion’s League final, between Barcelona and Juventus.

We witnessed excellent soccer from both teams.  Throughout the game most of the “9 ways of being a Mindful leader” were clearly visible.  Both teams were fully present, and aware; they were calm, focused and clear.  As they both missed opportunities to score, they would come back with equanimity, to the present moment, leaving the miss behind.

What was particularly remarkable was the way in which the Barcelona players supported one another, making the others succeed and in turn enabling the team to succeed.  There was evident unselfish and compassionate behaviour by Xavi Hernandez, their captain, in not starting the game even though it was his final game with the team.  Instead Andres Iniesta started the game as captain.

With Juventus, even though by the 90th minute in the game, it was clear that they may not win, they never gave up.  They all played with heart, as if they were winning.  It takes tremendous Mindful leadership to be able to do that, to continue to pull together, to not blame team mates for not being ahead, and to continue to do their best, under the circumstances.

When individual members of a team whether in sports, business or any other endeavour are Mindful leaders, the team wins.  As Mindful leaders, each one knows when to lead and when to follow, when to support another and when to carry the load.  This is all done seamlessly, because in the pursuit of sustaining high performance, egos are put aside and the real prize is seen as the team’s high performance.  And by playing in this way, each member and the team become resilient.  There is a sense that others have your back.  And there is real joy and pride in excelling personally, seeing others excel, and seeing the team win.


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