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!
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