WHAT CAN SKELETONS TEACH US ABOUT LEADERSHIP

WHAT CAN SKELETONS TEACH US ABOUT LEADERSHIP

Someone suggested to me that this picture demonstrates that deep down we are all the same, when we bother to reach beyond the external labels that we give each other. These memes are eye-catching and headline-grabbing. Yet they sucker us into even more assumptions and bias.

Of course, we agree that difference is only skin-deep. Underneath we are all flesh and blood and skeletons. Forget difference, look at the common humanity that binds us all. Everyone has the same hopes, fears, desires: to be loved, to be happy, to be respected. This guides us to treat people equally, with compassion, with understanding and with respect.

But hang on. We are different, diverse and no two humans are the same. In organisational life we should harness this uniqueness, work in teams and collaborate. Not pretend we’re all the same. Diversity promotes productivity (multiple studies report this). This is what true leadership is all about. Others can see what you can’t. Their background, skills and cognitive abilities provide variation that is good for teams and organisations. So we need to pay attention.

And that’s how mindfulness helps leaders. It increases our awareness. We notice things differently. Similarities and variations. And both are important to us. And to your effectiveness. If you think mindfulness sounds like some soft pappy nonsense, you’re listening to the wrong people – ironically, you’re not noticing! Living in your world of assumptions. Check out the science.