Christine Comaford – author, entrepreneur, coach, and ex-Buddhist monk – has a unique pedigree and an equally unique perspective on leadership. In this excerpt from her Social Capitalist Live Interview, she shares her thoughts on the roles that focus and presence, key Buddhist principles, play.
“Focus and presence to me are the foundation of leadership. When you choose to be exactly here, exactly now, there’s a couple of things that happen.
First of all, people feel that you’re aware, they feel that you care. Let’s also think about social media and why it’s so popular. It fulfills this deep need in people to be seen. When you grew up, did you really feel seen and acknowledged as a kid? Probably not. In your daily life, do you feel like people are really deeply, profoundly connecting with you every moment? Probably not, right? The more input we have coming in, the more phones and email, texting and etc., the less present we are.
And when we can just stop and be totally present with somebody, we’re going to be able to foster leadership, because we’re not going to be telling somebody what to do to get them out of our face. We’re going to be asking them, “What would you do, Bob? Will you own that area? What do you think had happened? What could go right, what could go wrong?” We’ll be inquiring instead of advocating.
The more present we are, the more we can do inquiry. And yes, it’s excruciating in the beginning, but after about three times that person is now going to go off and lead on their own. They’ll be out of the order-taking business and we’ll be out of the order-giving business. It comes down to stopping, breathing, and really focusing on exactly what you’re doing at this exact time.”
Get the rest of Christine’s thoughts on leadership and other topics in the full transcript and audio recording from her interview – click here.