13 Mar Yoga Leadership?
I remember a decade ago how yoga and business were two mutually exclusive conversation points. You either focused on your business career or you took a yoga class after work. There was no such thing as using yoga(or admitting to using yoga) to inform your management style or motivate your high performing teams. Thank goodness organizational cultures and styles of leadership have expanded and exceeded expectations! Many of us started our careers under the guidance(or heavy hand) of an authoritarian or mechanistic style of leadership. Formal rules and standard operating procedures were clearly defined for employees and power clearly resided with top management. Employees were told what to do and how to do it. Although there may be residual signs of this type of culture today, most organizations have expanded widely and wisely to embrace collaborative and group problem solving, shared and continuous learning, entrepreneurial risk taking and innovation as central cultural dimensions of teamwork. When talent is championed and supported, business outcomes flourish. In this book Five Secrets to a Long, Happy and Energetic Life by colleague Scott DuPont, I contributed content on how yoga has informed my leadership life while building businesses and meeting challenges. This chapter was drafted with the hope of encouraging others to explore the modality as a way to build self- awareness, cultivate confidence and become a less reactionary manager. In research compiled by Aon Hewitt on Trends in Global Employee Engagement(2014), the findings overwhelmingly support improved talent, customer, operational and business outcomes when organizations prioritize authentic engagement and a sense of belonging. Metrics were derived from a 5 year rolling employee research database representing over 7 million employees across 6,000 companies,68 industries and 155 countries.