A mindful leader is conscious of the interests of the company's stakeholders, has a deep understanding of the business and is able to create a vision for success in the dynamic and uncertain business environment.
Mindfulness is an awareness of the key stakeholders and the markets that govern the relationships with them. The mindful manager understands how customers use the company's products and services to help achieve their objectives and how competitive alternatives compare. The goal in this relationship is to provide value for customers by offering the most desirable combination of product and service attributes. For employees, the mindful manager appreciates the decision process that causes the best employees to choose to work for that company rather than for another. Competitiveness in these labour markets means offering a package of employment attributes that attract the employees required to achieve success. For investors, the manager is aware of the returns available in the market on similar-risk investments and strives to achieve a better result for them. The mindful manager is aware that the dynamics of each market ensures that none of these relationships is static and that a key responsibility is to manage these changes to the benefit of the key stakeholders.
Mindfulness is also having a deep understanding of the relevant past performance, current capabilities and future prospects of a business. Knowing the past provides a rich experience base from which to draw insight that may be helpful in assessing the future. Knowing the present allows an assessment of the resources available to meet future opportunities. The future cannot be known, but the mindful manager is aware of the responsibility to create expectations about the future that provide guidance for current activities and decisions. It is these expectations that comprise a vision of how the firm will participate and succeed in the future.
Finally, mindfulness is to be aware that while the manager has responsibility for creating expectations about the unknown future, for managing the dynamic relationships with all stakeholders, and for understanding the complexity of the firm and its myriad of activities, that these things cannot be known with certainty. Change cannot be fully understood in advance, and mindfulness requires ongoing scrutiny and refinement of expectations and actions based on newer experiences and information.