The Role of Meditation in Leadership: Unlocking Creativity and Serenity in Business
By Laurent Vuibert
PCC, CPCC, MBA – Founder Personal And Team Executive Coach
Founder of Authentic Choices
A lot of things come along with meditation: the way we relate to other people, and the way we impact others. However, I believe joy and happiness are those things that many of us are really after. We create and go to multiple playgrounds, whether it’s business life, artistic life, or any other type of playground. Yet at the end of the day, happiness, self-love, the love for others and for life, in general, are the things that we are looking for. That’s how I want to start talking about it because that’s really the end point.
Still, how does meditation support my clients in the context of their vision, their job, and their business? How does meditation support you on a daily basis? Most people will not meditate and don’t need to meditate simply because they’re not interested and that’s perfectly fine. You don’t need to meditate. You don’t have to sit irrespective of whatever the newspaper or social media is inviting you or shaming you to do. It doesn’t matter what the point of meditation is for you: you may want to be in a balanced relationship with the world and with life in general in a way that is less impeded. As long as you find a way to be at peace and in a good relationship with life in a way that is satisfactory, you are doing well.
However, if you are keen to develop a practice that will allow you to discover your realm of life and have access to aspects of yourself or the world that you didn’t know existed, and get access to a degree of serenity and confidence in yourself and others without using a lot of energy, please sit, learn to sit and meditate.
Thus, my above-mentioned initial point is: you don’t have to meditate, but if you feel like it, we can talk about it and we’ll do it in a minute.
Many business leaders who are known to be avid meditators generate amazing results. Is this all due to meditation? Steve Jobs and many others were said to be avid meditators. I’m glad they found the right teacher to learn how to concentrate and to be in a certain relationship with life so that they could liberate their creative capacity and leadership and engage other people’s energy and creative energies in ways that we all benefit from. That’s fantastic. However, the only reason why you would want to meditate is that it makes sense to you because it’s such a gruesome practice at the beginning that you really need to have enough motivation to engage in it. In my opinion, the benefits of meditation are almost immediate, although it’s not that easy. I believe we get the benefit from this practice when we can sit comfortably for more than 20 minutes. That’s a bit difficult because at the beginning, we don’t want to, we can’t sit for more than 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, or 20 minutes. Switching from a busy day to the actual rest and being center-grounded is sometimes a whole practice. Sometimes it takes me 45 minutes to be able to rest before I can expand my concentration or before I can do whatever I’m doing during my practice. That might be a bit unfair. The barrier to entry seems to be very low, but actually, the barrier to stay is a little bit hard and is a little bit high. So you would have to commit to learning to be with yourself, to concentrate on your breath or any other thing for 30, 60, 90 days so that you can start to get access to other mindsets or states of consciousness that are going to feel slightly different from the noisy, busy, frantic environment we commonly experience before we practice.
My teacher has a very good image that I want to share with you, and I think that should be enough to motivate you to meditate as it was for me and for many people I shared it with. So let’s try. Imagine this: he’s doing a picture of the moon and he’s showing the reflection of the moon, on a choppy lake. Then of course, what is the reflection of the moon on a choppy lake? It’s a wiggly thing and that’s pretty much how we see the world on a daily basis. When we don’t learn to ground and to present ourselves, to be present to what’s in front of us, we can only see a moving thing. We are not fully certain about what we see and why we see it this way and where are we in relation to this thing. Am I moving? Is it moving? Is it really sad? Is it a man? Is it a woman? Is it an animal? I don’t know what’s going on. So we can’t really trust what’s in front of us and therefore offer an appropriate, deliberate, precise response to what’s in front of us. When we learn to meditate or when we have a practice that allows us to get access to stillness, suddenly the moon looks like the moon. It’s a perfect satellite to the planet, exactly reflected on the lake with that lake being your heart, your mind when you feel so still that you can trust what you see. The stillness is deep inside you and the relations with your environment immediately shift. Nothing is in reason anymore. Everything is information that you decide to respond to or not.
We all have responsibilities, I know these days we like to talk about C-suite, CEOs, and everything, and if you are one of these people, you do deserve respect for the scope of your task and the responsibility you have, yet all of us have the responsibility to create the world we want to live in. Everyone has a capacity for a much larger scope, and everyone would benefit from being able to support each other as we create that role together. Some of us are pointed to slightly bigger responsibilities. When we have access to this kind of self-trust, and a relationship with ourselves at this level, our relationship with people around us changes and simplifies. Our way to handle complexity and ambiguity becomes much more enjoyable. I’m not saying it’s simple, but it’s much more enjoyable because we are able to relate to life as it is instead of trying to be in a relationship with our limited expectation of what life should be, therefore our relationships with ourselves get more mature.
Now when you’ve seen the moon reflect, reflecting itself flawlessly on the lake, your presence and the vibration of your energy have shifted. You’re able to be on a much higher level of relationship with other human beings and therefore resonate with people who vibrate or resonate, who have the same type of energy quality. Consequently, your mind and the ideas coming out of it are also going to be the fruit of that degree and level of resonance and be recognized by people who also have this capacity and this success to resonate. Your energy, its size, and its capacity are going to be able to include and engage the people around you in a way much more comfortable to them. In many ways it’s not about meditation as such, but rather about access to a quality of energy, that meditation gives you. This energy is very engaging and inviting for the people you are working with, and the people you’re creating with. If you have another way to access that energy, please work on it. There are multiple ways of working on energy, but my experience suggests that the more settled and amplified my energy is, the easier it is for people to relate to me and to feel safe in my presence, able to express themselves and be creative. It brings leadership capacity and effectiveness for all of us, which was not accessible before.