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Great Leadership Starts With Solid Decision-Making

Humans have evolved to survive extremes. As a result, our nervous systems are primed for flight or fight as well as pigeonholing other people as friend or foe, good or bad, safe or unsafe. This inborn propensity to see things in black and white and react accordingly permeates our lives. Top-performing leaders learn to avoid this sort of binary thinking, which includes exaggerating and running from “the negative” while chasing after “the positive.” Great leaders slow down and see and appreciate shades of gray.

Why Is Clarity of Mind Important? 

Clarity of mind is a crucial leadership competency that connects directly to the skill of solid and grounded decision-making. Leaders who develop clarity of mind see things as they actually are, not filtered through the distorting lenses of clinging to what they want, avoiding what they fear, mistaking their assumptions for reality, and staying checked out from the present moment. But clarity of mind can be hard to come by.  Several factors challenge our ability to access this clarity – distraction, fatigue, misperception, and attachment to outcome are a few of them that are hardwired into our nervous systems if we stay on “autopilot.” By mastering techniques to manage these hurdles, leaders learn to approach decision-making with curiosity and openness, promising a more accurate assessment of the situation and connecting the decision to their greater vision and purpose for their organization.

How Do I Achieve This?

How do we disarm our innate survival mode and shift to thriving mode? How do we move from reactive (playing not to lose) leadership, to creative (playing to win) leadership?

         In a word: Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the foundation for overcoming our habit natures that are so closely, if sometimes subtly, connected to the instincts of fight, flight, or a combination of the two. Mindfulness enables business leaders to respond to complexity, meeting the facts on the ground as they actually are, without getting pulled into an internally driven narrative that is based more on their history and their own survival instincts than what is actually happening in the present moment.  Without mindfulness, leaders too often end up making decisions based on something other than reality, which often leads to them solving problems in less targeted ways or not solving the problem at all. 

Great leadership is a way of being, as much as a set of things that leaders do tactically. Executive Coach and Facilitator Ben Papa coaches leaders and other executives to optimize their inner game for breakthrough business performance. Email today at ben@benjaminpapa.com to schedule a free, no-obligation strategy session to discuss how maximizing leadership effectiveness can help your business stand out from the competition.