What do we mean by mindful leadership? Leadership focuses on building shared meaning for the purpose of enabling change to deal with contentious problems. Mindfulness is noticing new things. When you are mindful, you are looking for change, and you embrace it. Things are always changing, whether you embrace the change or not, so you are better off understanding how to deal with it, versus believing that you can hold it still or run away from it. Putting these two concepts together, mindful leadership is about using mindful processes in a mindful culture to see, name, and work with uncertainty.
This chapter focuses the lens of mindfulness research on the context of mindful leadership through four stories of leadership. We will use the mindfulness lens to diagnose each leadership situation and suggest a mindfulness solution. We will translate the mindfulness solution into organization practices, which we will use to resolve the four cases. We will see the importance of new perspectives in an electric company, new categories in a school board, new information in a textile company, and the use of all three in a state-wide project.