Leading Mindfully

How to focus on what matters, influence for good, and enjoy leadership more

Amanda Sinclair
AUD $32.99
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A guide to cultivating everyday mindfulness for leaders seeking to make their organisations and workplaces productive, fulfilling and enjoyable places to be.

Simple practices of mindfulness can enhance our effectiveness and enjoyment in leadership work.

Leadership teacher and researcher Amanda Sinclair shows how mindfulness is helpful for all of us involved in the day-to-day of leadership, in those interactions in organisations, communities, schools and families where we are seeking to influence others towards positive outcomes.

Incorporating user-friendly summaries of the latest neuro-scientific and leadership research, Amanda invites us to experiment with twenty mindful practices. None of these activities take extra time or require us to withdraw to a mountain cave. They do help us find time for the people and purposes that matter most to us.

In a world where we regularly feel captured by a never ending 'To Do' list, expanding demands and depleted energies, Leading Mindfully provides a practical, simple and powerful path to leadership that is not only sustainable but full of delights and pleasures.

'A gift to all of those who seek to make a difference in the lives of others while keeping themselves well in the process' - Donna Ladkin, author of Authentic Leadership

'Sinclair takes us on a journey of leadership based on mindful principles which hold out great hope that leaders can live more purposeful, healthful and joyful lives along with those they lead.' - Alan Guskin, Antioch University

'For all people whose work involves influencing what people think or do - teachers, community leaders, health professionals, as well as ''bosses''.' - Diane Grady AM, Independent Director, Macquarie Group

Author bio:

Amanda Sinclair is an author and teacher in leadership, change, ethics and diversity. A Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Business School, she has written many articles and books on leadership including: Doing Leadership Differently and Leadership for the Disillusioned. She consults to organisations and senior management teams, coaches individuals and also teaches yoga and meditation.

Category: Business & Management
ISBN: 9781925267044
Table Of Contents: Introduction

PART ONE: LEADERSHIP FOR LIFE

1. Being as well as doing in leadership

2. Thinking less

3. Letting awareness arrive

4. Giving attention

5. Reflecting on identity with less ego

6. Listening from stillness

7. Dialogue for insight

8. Connecting

9. Being mindful in crises

10. Transforming writing

PART TWO: LEADING WITH BODY

11. Breathing consciously

12. Looking after bodies

13. Tuning into the senses

14. Finding pleasure

15. Opening to creativity

PART THREE: LEADING WITH HEART

16. Feeling

17. Being ourselves?

18. Clarifying purpose, going for happiness

19. Being ethical

20. Bringing love and compassion into leadership

Acknowledgements: A year of delights and letting go

Endnotes

Further reading on mindfulness and leadership

Index
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: March 2016
Page Extent: 240
Format: Paperback - C format
Subject: Management: leadership & motivation

Teachers Reviews

I was really pleased to read a Leadership book written by an Australian. The fact that the author had incorporated yoga and Buddhist philosophy made it all the more interesting.

Every teacher holds a leadership position where they can influence for good. At RSC we strive to help each other to know and grow our strengths. Amanda’s user-friendly summaries help me to find ways for my colleagues to stress less and find more pleasure in what they do.

Amanda’s research is extensive and thorough. I was quickly convinced of the importance of cultivating everyday mindfulness. Quotes are inspiring and related ideas very practical. Mindfulness in the classroom starts with a focus on breath at the beginning of each session. Teachers balance “Thinking, Reflecting, Awareness” when designing lessons and consistently give attention to what is most important at that time. Prioritise lessons on mindful listening/seeing/touching/smelling/tasting. Strive to be present and connect with every child daily.

By giving attention to both what is getting in the way for each individual and what will help them thrive and flourish creates an empowering school/community/corporate/political culture. Amanda guides the reader through the steps to make this possible. I highly recommend this book to all who seek to lead a life full of purpose and happiness.
Gail Carroll, Support Teacher Learning Difficulties, Redlynch State College, QLD

There are many books about leadership and also mindfulness around at the moment. To put them both together resonated with me as I am myself at the beginning of my leadership journey. An important factor with this book is that it is written by an Australian author which for me makes it more relevant for me. Many leadership books are written by overseas authors with an approach that is evangelistic.

The book is broken into three sections, “Leadership for Life”, “Leading with the Body” and “Leading with the Heart”. This makes it easier to compartmentalise all the information that it contains. Many leadership books are pitched at executives but this book is relevant for anyone in management positions and leading at any level of life.

Amanda Sinclair looks at twenty mindful practices in the chapters in her book. She highlights the practice of thinking, of being aware and also reflecting. She also says we should think less – too many people think too much about what others think of them. She encourages us to think further than right now. By thinking about the future and how we can make a positive change in our life and career we can be happy, positive and enjoy life.

This book provides practical and simple examples that are easy and take little time to implement in our daily lives. It is an easy read that inspires you to want to immediately try out some of her tips. As leaders we all want to influence others but we need to do it while being mindful of our needs as well as the needs of others. This book helps to give information on how to achieve this.
Well worth reading even if you are not interested in the standard view of what Leadership is. It will help with being mindful in everyday situations.
“Leadership is not a position or a person but a process of influence between individuals and within groups towards valued outcomes.”
Katharine Hotz, Hercules Road State School, QLD

When you pick up this book and browse the title and sentence on the front page you get a brief insight into what this book might be about. If you are a leader you will want to grab it and see what it has to offer and if you are interested in mindfulness then you will also want to pick up the book. I wasn’t sure what to expect but am always interested in leadership both for myself and to evaluate the leaders I interact with.

The book is set out in chapters and after reading the introduction I started reading the next chapter. However, references were made frequently to other chapters so I started to stop where I was and access these chapters which lead me onto the one after that so in the end I jumped all over the book.

I appreciated that the examples given were mostly Australian people who I knew well or had heard of. This connection made the examples more valid and I got more from them when I knew the people in some detail.

One of the most interesting chapters was chapter 12 “Looking after bodies”. It provided a different insight into how leaders could take care of the people they are responsible for and the benefits of this method which were amply outlined in the example of Paul Roos. This added to the insight in how we should handle feedback from others makes this a book anyone could gain insight from. Leader or not, mindful or not, the author’s positive lessons teamed with Australian examples has many layers which everyone could benefit from.
Roxanne Steenbergen, New Town Primary, TAS

Over the last year I have been reading a lot of material on mindfulness and have found it to be a beneficial practice in my own life. So I was very interested to read a book about mindfulness and leadership. On first thought these two concepts seem to be polar opposites but Amanda very simply explains how they can go hand in hand and the tremendous benefits this entails for both the leader and the organization they are leading.

Amanda has broken the book up into three parts – “Leadership for Life”, “Leading with Body” and “Leading with Heart”. Right from the very beginning sentences of the introduction Amanda invites the reader to drop their shoulders, soften their jaw, and relax. Many leaders would be chomping at the bit and saying they don’t have time for this! But by understanding that mindfulness is the very simple act of choosing to be present and aware in the moment, observing thoughts rather than getting caught up with them, leaders can learn to be truly present for those people they work with and the issues they are dealing with. It shows leaders how life is not just a “to do” list, driving themselves and deferring life but how to pause and really enjoy the world around them.

The obvious thing would be to share this with directors and senior leaders but I believe this would be extremely beneficial for teachers as well. They, of course, are leaders in their own right. I think it would be helpful to share some of Amanda’s ideas of how to stay in the present moment regularly in staff meetings and to actually take a few moments to put them into practice. Simple practices such as tuning into the senses, finding pleasure and delighting in simple things, taking time to notice things around you and learning to breath consciously all helps to appreciate what life is offering and transform us into better leaders.
Margy Heuschele, Teacher Librarian, Concordia Lutheran College, QLD

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