[PODCAST] Mindfulness: A Workforce 2030 ImperativeAn Interview with Pandit Dasa
Pandit Dasa has an extraordinary vision for Workforce 2030, quite different than the dystopian view that many of us, including me, might paint for life just 10 years away. Pandit imagines a workforce where leaders and managers inspire, support and encourage; where ego battles don’t stifle progress; where colleagues celebrate each other‘s success ; and employees develop positive social connections at work, leading to greater engagement, retention and productivity.
Pandit’s journey, which helped shape his vision and purpose, is beyond a shadow of a doubt untraditional. From a young age, he has experienced rags to riches to rags … and then lived 15 years in a monastery as a monk. His next life chapter began in 2014 when Pandit left the monastic lifestyle to introduce mindfulness to corporate America.
Timing is often everything. With disruption thriving, change accelerating, and stress threatening our well-being, Pandit’s workforce solution is a refreshing approach to leadership, something he calls mindful leadership.
Mindful leadership offers a spectacular shift from the leadership style promoted by Frederick Taylor’s scientific management and followed by nearly a century of leaders. But as we close the chapter on Industry Age 3.0 and open the book on Industry Age 4.0, mindful leadership should not be considered as an alternative but, according to Pandit, a business imperative.
Being a skeptic at times, I pressed Pandit during our podcast interview, about the acceptance of Mindful Leadership by executives. In my nearly 4 decades in the workforce, I’ve heard hundreds of experts declare the need for more human leadership. But time and time again, the pursuit of productivity and a seductive career ladder triumphed. Money and career aspirations crushed the desire to grow our “soft skills.” I couldn’t help but wonder if Mindful Leadership might just become another buzzword in the C-Suite. Will executives finally embrace the need for a fresh people-centric approach to leadership?
“Without these [skills of mindful leadership], our workplaces will become toxic … no one will progress, organizations won’t progress.”
“I see that people are incredibly receptive. We can be competitive but also have strong positive, social connections at work. Without these [skills of mindful leadership], our workplaces will become toxic … no one will progress, organizations won’t progress.”
Unlike Pandit, not everyone has the luxury to take a year off “to clear our heads.” So what are some of the things anyone, from any walk of life, can do to change our mindset.
Pandit suggests, each of us needs to stop and ask ourselves each day “what are 3 positive things I have going on in my life right now” to break the negative loop. Alternatively (or in addition), take 10 deep breaths. This short pause gives us an opportunity to prepare for the next moment.
Pandit uses the analogy of apps on our smartphones. We’ve all been there. Sooner or later we find ourselves with so many open apps that our devise just stops functioning. By closing some of the open apps, especially negative thoughts, we can also clear our mind.
What is it that Pandit sees as most positive and promising about Workforce 2030?
“I am so thrilled that more people are seeing the need for a shift in mindset.” Pandit continued, “People want work that is more joyous and fulfilling, that happiness is as important as financial success.”