Before I even opened this book I was intrigued by the title. ‘Mindful’ and ‘Command’ are not two words that I would normally put together in the same sentence, so I was keen to find out what the author has set out to explore.
Sally-Anne Airey draws on her background as a former Commander in the Royal Navy and business manager of an international school in Kyiv before taking these skills into her leadership development practice. The lessons she’s learned throughout this fascinating career path are littered throughout the book and have clearly helped to shape the development approaches she shares with leaders today, particularly those dedicated to making a positive impact on the world.
She begins with a brilliant reminder that leadership is an inside job – without leading ourselves well, we can’t do the same for others. As much as leadership development can often focus on how to lead others, the important stuff really happens when we spend time working out what makes us tick.
Sally-Anne’s Mindful Command framework is made up of two very different elements; ‘Mindful’, draws on the mindfulness of Sally-Anne’s practice, with a focus on presence and awareness. ‘Command’ relates to the experiences of her Naval career, where the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of the desired outcome of an operation are clearly set out by the leader so that the people responsible for execution feel empowered decide on the ‘how’.
The book is structured around the four key elements of Mindful Command, all core to effective leadership and which we can all learn to integrate into the way we are and how we operate:
Balanced Awareness – seeing things as they really are
Clear Purpose – being clear about what really matters
Fearless compassion – developing the courage to do the right thing
Inner stability – standing for what matters, calmly
After explaining how to prepare for Mindful Command, Sally-Anne takes the reader through each of these elements, chapter by chapter. She shares stories, techniques and guidance to help get started on the journey of change to both learn this development approach and to incorporate it into the way we live.
In our increasingly turbulent world, we need more leaders who can influence and drive positive change, having done the inner work that’s essential to be able to lead well and this book is a great guide to support this.
This is a very straightforward, easy-to-follow book that helps you understand what good leadership behaviours look like, how inspiring they can be and put them within your own reach. By the last chapter, you will have the basic tools you need to begin applying the Mindful Command approach in your own life and help lead change for the better.
Published by LIDpublishing
Jo Twiselton, Change coach & consultant, founder of Twist Consultants – www.twistconsultants.co.uk