Next Level Leadership: The Mindful Leader

 

Introduction

Every day, Business Executives come to Hudson Nordic for coaching and advice. Often, they seek a deeper meaning in their work or simply wish to connect better with themselves. Some of these Executives wish not only to connect within but also to connect with other leaders that share similar career paths, interests and mindsets. At Hudson Nordic, we experience growing demand and a longing for “connectedness”, which is why we are launching our new concept “Next Level Leadership” in partnership with Buddhist Teacher Marie Kronquist.

It is not only us, who see people searching for a greater purpose or wishing to connect at a deeper level. Meditation as a tool for connecting with and getting to know oneself better is growing increasingly popular worldwide according to studies; in 2019 in the US, 14 % of the adult population has been meditating. In fact, in 2020, 200-500 million people are said to be meditating worldwide.

In this article, we look at the meditation practise from an anthropological point of view, to understand how meditation can benefit the modern leader and support in reaching Next Level Leadership.

 

The self-absorbed modern individual

In the Western world, people regard themselves as individuals and identify completely with their body and mind. The body is seen as the physical limit to our being, and we consider ourselves to be contained within the body. This thought is likely to be a given for some, but research conducted by anthropologists shows that some people perceive themselves differently.

In other words, thinking of ourselves as individuals completely linked to our physical body is not something we do naturally – but culturally. Then, what does the individualistic way of perceiving ourselves mean for our social interactions? Anthropological research has recently highlighted how even activists, who are passionate about a certain cause, interact as individuals, who put their own needs before the cause. We always put our Selves first. Bottom line, the modern (wo)man has become self-absorbed whether (s)he will it or not.

Alone or lonely?

If and when, we identify ourselves as individuals – as we tend to do in the Western world – we are bound to feel more alone than people, who believe, they share their being with other spirits. In fact, identifying yourself as an individual can easily generate profound loneliness. Studies show, loneliness is increasing in the Western World, and to exemplify this; in the US, three out of five are lonely, and according to Danish studies, 12 % of the Danish population between 16–25 years old are severely lonely. These results are even more accentuated when considering the surveys were conducted before the Covid-19 pandemic and thus before the number of people experiencing loneliness have skyrocketed which they have according to the Mental Health Foundation.

Why meditate?

At the risk of feeling lonely or “disconnected” from the world, many people now seek meaning in their lives as well as a deeper connection with their own being. This is where meditation comes into the picture; meditation provides means for achieving inner peace, a profound self-insight and a deeper connection to yourself and your purpose. Indeed, meditation can give peace in a stressful life and strengthens your authenticity.

Closely linked to meditation is mindfulness which is the ability to be fully present and fully aware. Meditation is a tool for mindfulness, where you practise the shift from a mode of action to a mode of being. While meditating, you learn techniques to distance yourself from your thoughts and feelings through inner observation. We learn through meditation and mindfulness that our state of being, depends on perception on ourselves and life; on our thought patterns; on the way, we talk to ourselves and our surroundings; and on the way we act. When becoming aware of this, meditation can prove truly life-changing.

The idea of something within you that is unattached to your personal choices, your feelings and your body can make it a lot easier to live with emotional pain. In fact, through meditation and mindfulness, you can feel pain without suffering, considering suffering is the reaction to pain. Scientifically, meditation has proven to reduce stress and anxiety, control emotional pain, and improve emotional health in general.

The global business magazine, Forbes, has also pointed out, how meditation can help you in your work and highlights factors such as improvement of memory, increased focus, less prejudice and reduction of the risk of burning out. In short, invest your time in meditation, and you will gain it back tenfold as you will be re-energised and can work more efficiently and for longer – without feeling stressed or burned out. Perhaps, you may even become a better and more approachable leader to your team. Meditation is a wonderful tool for people who wish to evolve, improve and reach their strongest potential.

 

Next Level Leadership

Knowing how meditation and mindfulness can benefit leaders, Hudson Nordic and Marie Kronquist are launching a new programme called “Next Level Leadership”. The programme consists of two parts: “The Art of Meditating” (“Kunsten at meditere”) and “The Spiritual Path” (“Den spirituelle vej”), and you can choose one or both. Both parts of the programme are for leaders, who are interested in True Leadership and Self-Leadership. The programme is for the mindful leader, who, as we do, believes a leader is more skilled when (s)he knows her-/himself in-depth.

Both parts of “Next Level Leadership” can benefit leaders who seek to be part of a group while being on an inner journey. This group will consist of other leaders who shares similar mindsets. “The Art of Meditating” rests on the principles of mindfulness and meditation, and it does not focus on the search for meaning like “The Spiritual Path” does; therefore, there is a part for each mindset. Regardless of what you believe is the right solution for you, Hudson Nordic can help you reach your Next Level in Your Leadership.

Conclusion

In this article, we set out to answer why meditation practices are growing. We have clarified, how we identify ourselves as individuals and make choices based on our Self. This also serves to explain the growing need for meditation and mindfulness, as these provide tools for developing our Self in order to make us happier, more balanced and achieve our life goals. Mindfulness at work can help us make the right decisions at the right time and stay present and prevent us from burning out.

In fact, leaders, who practise meditation, have been proven to be less stressed, more focused, happier and have a better memory. There are even indications that the mindful leader is perceived as a nicer leader by her/his employees. In these times, where individuality is on a high and loneliness is growing, meditation and mindfulness allow a feeling of connectedness.

We, at Hudson Nordic, know how meditation can benefit leaders and support them in fulfilling potentials and reach “Next Level Leadership”. Especially, we see how far it can take a leader to work with the four essentials: Perception, Thought, Talk and Action to achieve real change. These four are exactly the core of mindful meditation. As a result, together with Marie Kronquist, we are now launching our programme to offer a room, where leaders can connect – not only within, but also to other leaders with similar mindsets and needs.