Be All There, or Be All Here, depending on your view of language. However you say it, notice what’s going on around you, the moment to moment changes as well as the variety of more long lasting things. Hold an open mind and take it all in and avoid the arrogance and complacency that comes from the illusion of certainty.
Mindfulness, the art of paying attention and using what you notice as fodder for change and improvement. Couple this with reframing what you see into better ideas, products, and services and you’ve become more innovative and less likely to get stuck and irrelevant.
Make a mistake? Rather than explode in rage take a step back and look, really look, at what happened…and what resulted. Perhaps you’ll find that you’ve invented your own version of glue that doesn’t stick that well and have the next Post It Notes right in front of you.
Then there’s context. So much is context dependent. Context drives perceptions, actions, and perception about actions. A hand shake is a message of welcome, friendship, respect…unless you’re a man offering your hand to a woman wearing a abaya and niqab. To gain more control over your life, figure out who controls the context and what their motives are. Then do a bit of reframing and take charge. Better yet, create the context that helps you get what you want.
You can take charge and wind up with better results as long as you pay attention and turn things into opportunities rather than defeats. When you’re mindful and so paying attention to those around you, those around you see you as more charismatic. You notice opportunities, swerve around the dangers, lead more effectively.
Last week I was thinking about this while preparing to lead a program for The United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Of Japan Fellowship Programme. The group is composed of well educated and influential people from a variety of countries, cultures, languages, and backgrounds. There I am, standing in front of them ready to lead an interactive program with the vague goal of giving them advice and ideas for improving their communication and team effectiveness.
For a group such as this with the goal of becoming better global leaders, what could be better than Be All There? Be mindful of your surroundings and the people. Build the right context, pay attention to what happens, adjust and adapt to changing conditions, and remember that certainty that you’re right often leads to blindness to opportunity and shutting off the voices you most need to hear.
As for the Fellows, when we ended the day I heard those words I most enjoy. “It’s over already?”