what is mindful leadership?

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Mindful Leadership Retreat along with 25 other Target team members that are involved in leading and supporting well-being. I remembered back to when I first received the invite to the leadership retreat and I asked myself what is mindful leadership? I was about to find out.

The leadership retreat was held at the Gainey Conference Center in Owatonna, Minnesota. The center was the home and farm of the late Daniel C. Gainey and it was absolutely beautiful. The white-washed brick, gold features, and chandeliers were still from the home that was built more than 50 years ago.

During the retreat we focused on mindfulness, paying attention intentionally and training the mind to be in the moment. It took me quite some time to learn how to focus and to find clarity in my busy mind. I learned that autopilot isn’t always the best way to approach the day, but I noticed autopilot was my default. The retreat was my crash course in taking myself off of autopilot. Each day we spent some time meditating and exercising mindfulness to help train the mind to be present in the moment.

I was unsure how this training would translate to leadership, but as we talked as a group the last day of the retreat, we found endless opportunities to integrate mindful leadership into our everyday lives at home and at work. I am looking forward the most to having mindful meetings. The goal of a mindful meeting is to have each meeting attendee present during the meeting time. This can be done by sharing the goals of the meeting ahead of time, allowing each person at the meeting to speak, and removing distractions such as computers and cell phones during the meetings.

Mindful leadership is the ability to be a more effective leader through directing and sustaining attention. I have learned to train my mind to help take me off of autopilot and allow me to be present in the moment. I am so excited to share these skills with other leaders at my distribution center!

Interested in a career in Target’s distribution & supply chain management areas? Learn more and apply for openings here.

  • Rebecca

    April 4th, 2012

    Can’t wait to hear more about your retreat and how we can apply lessons back at the DC. Being more present and in the moment is something we can all benefit from in our work and home life.

  • Brie

    May 29th, 2012

    This is a great post. A new and insightful way to look at our daily interactions with our teams and make them even more impactful. Thanks Julia!

  • Rebecca McGinnis

    July 10th, 2012

    Hi Julia – I couldn’t agree more. This mindful leadership retreat has helped me so much as a leader! Love your blog! Rebecca

  • April

    December 3rd, 2015

    Greetings, I’m a freelance writer working on a piece on mindfulness at work for Natural Awakenings magazine. I see this post is a few years’ old, but would love to speak with you if you’re still at the company (and practicing mindfulness there! 🙂



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