Mark Cuban has made it known that he writes the word “Listen” at the top of his notepad as he watches investment pitches while filming Shark Tank. He does this with the idea that every time he looks at the page he is reminded to truly grasp the information that the presenter is revealing to him and the other Sharks. I would say that this particular trait has assisted Mr. Cuban even from the very beginning of his career. Just after college he noticed a niche that needed to be serviced and learned the skills necessary to fill it. This resulted in him building MicroSolutions and later selling it for $6 million and launching him into a high level and successful career. It can be tremendously easy to get lost staring at a screen for hours on end while working on a pet project or to take the same zombifying path through your city every day and pay no attention, but leaders need to be mindful of what is happening around them in order to be effective.
Here are Three Ways to Use Mindfulness to Your Advantage:
I’ve heard it said that those who succeed in marketing are the individuals that find ways to cut through the static and deliver a message in today’s information overloaded culture.The most successful leaders are those who are able to do the reverse and force themselves to block out the distractions that surround and focus on absorbing what they need for progress and the realization of their goals. Try to keep your attention on the actions and words of those you work around in order to stay aware of the mood of your team. Nothing is more valuable to a leader than being able to empathize and the easiest way to understand someone else’s view is to make note of their day to day attitude, actions, and comments.
Whether it is finding a market for your product or getting a proper feel of your office culture, being able to filter out the bulk of unneeded information that is always flying around and simplify is a critical talent in our environment. Finding big problems and then simplifying them down to their most basic causes can be a highly beneficial talent to posses. Some of the most lucrative and popular businesses have been built around simple solutions to major problems. Take the founders of Airbnb for example, they noticed that many people had spare rooms or properties that could be utilized and paid for by individuals who needed a place to stay but couldn’t find an open hotel room. They were able to develop their market to include those would prefer either a cheaper or more “authentic” alternative to a hotel as well. This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas. I’ve realized that those who work to be mindful usually have the best ideas first and everyone else is slapping their foreheads wishing that they had been paying attention.
The most effective leaders are those who are equally skilled in communicating to individuals as well as large audience. One of the most efficient ways to become a better communicator is to create common ground and relate to those to whom you are speaking. Being mindful and paying attention to those you are speaking to will allow you to gauge their general lifestyle as well as their reactions to what you are saying. I’ve read a lot lately on the importance of meeting with some of your audience members prior to a large presentation in order to create some friendly faces in the crowd as well as to obtain their by-in before you even start speaking. I think that doing this will also allow you a tremendous opportunity to get to know your audience and tailor your message to presenting style accordingly. If you work with a small team of people, being mindful of their everyday activities or comments about their personal life will allow you to relate to them on a more personal level and communicate your message in a way that will fit them and ensure that they understand what you’re saying.
Making an effort to be mindful will help you in many facets of your everyday life.You will find that your personal relationships improve, your professional opportunities will expand, and your understanding of the world around you will grow. Take the time to develop this skill, it may change your life.
Do great things