This book surprised me with its poignancy. A summer read I stumbled upon (neatly apt as we travelled around Thailand on our 2023 summer break mingling amidst the plethora of orange clad holy ones). In it I unearthed earthly guidance not just relevant to spiritual growth, personal evolution and all the higher realm stuff, but professional impact too. Jay Shetty was a normal Londoner naughtily navigating school and socials, later fancied time in a monastery, ended up at Accenture where he bloomed beyond ego and financial gain into blending monk teachings with working life and is now a world renowned life coach extraordinaire. His transformative work, ‘Think Like a Monk’, teaches principles which do indeed resonate powerfully with effective business leadership (as well as personal flourishing). Shetty’s wisdom can and should be seamlessly woven into the fabric of leadership, enhancing its texture and strength. Here are some highlights with microsteps to enaction immediately.
8 Steps to Invite Monkliness into Our Leadership Effectiveness
- Cultivate a Calm Mindset in the Storms of Business
In our bustling business worlds, the art of staying calm amid chaos is a true virtue. Jay Shetty’s teachings echo the serenity of a monk’s life, emphasising mindfulness and self-awareness. In business, leaders who master the art of remaining composed even in the face of challenges can make more rational decisions, inspire their teams, and foster an environment of trust.
Microstep: Begin each day with a short meditation or breathing exercise to centre your mind. This practice will help you approach challenges with clarity and composure.
- Embrace the Power of Purpose
Shetty’s book underscores the significance of finding one’s purpose. As a business leader, this principle is your North Star, guiding every decision and action. When leaders and their teams are aligned with a shared purpose, it propels them forward with unwavering determination.
Microstep: Reflect on your business’s mission and values. Communicate them clearly to your team, reinforcing the “why” behind every endeavour.
- Transmute Failure into Growth
Monks perceive failures as stepping stones on their path to enlightenment. Similarly, effective business leaders view setbacks as opportunities for growth. Shetty’s wisdom encourages us to embrace failure, extract its lessons, and evolve from it.
Microstep: After every project or initiative, conduct a “lessons learned” session with your team. Encourage open dialogue about challenges faced and insights gained.
- Nurture Authentic Relationships
The monastery life underscores the essence of deep, meaningful relationships. In business, authentic connections are pivotal, be it with your team, clients, or partners. Shetty’s emphasis on empathy, active listening, and genuine care aligns seamlessly with fostering such relationships.
Microstep: Set aside time each week for one-on-one conversations with your team members. Listen actively, inquire about their well-being, and offer support beyond just work-related matters.
- Master Time Management and Focus
A monk’s disciplined routine parallels the art of effective time management. Shetty advocates for focused attention on tasks at hand. In business leadership, this principle translates into productive time allocation, enabling you to channel your energy into what truly matters.
Microstep: Adopt the Pomodoro technique: Work on a task for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. After four cycles, take a longer break. This method enhances focus and productivity.
- Practice Gratitude and Resilience
Gratitude and resilience are keystones of monk philosophy. Business leaders who embrace gratitude find themselves motivated, more resilient, and better at handling adversities.
Microstep: Maintain a gratitude journal. Each day, jot down three things you’re thankful for, and reflect on how these positives impact your professional life.
- Lead with Humility and Servitude
Monks are known for their selflessness and servitude. Shetty’s teachings encourage leaders to humble themselves and serve their teams. True leadership emerges when leaders place the growth and well-being of their team members above personal recognition.
Microstep: Regularly ask your team for feedback on your leadership. Actively seek areas for improvement and take actions to better support your team’s needs.
- Harness the Power of Silence
Monks treasure silence as a source of strength and clarity. Business leaders can also benefit from moments of silence, allowing for introspection, problem-solving, and strategic thinking.
Microstep: Dedicate a few minutes of your day to silence. This could be in the form of a short walk, sitting quietly, or practicing mindfulness. Allow your mind to settle and insights to emerge.
Clearly, ‘Think Like a Monk,’ is not confined to personal transformation alone. Its principles quite naturally extend to the realm of effective business leadership. By embracing mindfulness, purpose, resilience, and humility, leaders can nurture a workspace that thrives on authenticity, growth and success.
As you embark on this journey to intertwine monk wisdom with leadership prowess, remember that the transformation begins with small, consistent steps. Inculcate these microsteps into your daily routine, and witness the metamorphosis in your leadership style and the flourishing of your team. The road to effective business leadership, paved with monk-inspired principles, is one of perpetual growth, unparalleled resilience, and unwavering authenticity.