Are you able to be fully present?

One attribute of a leader is the ability to fully focus on exactly what they are doing, without their thoughts drifting to the future or the past.

One of my colleagues recently got me thinking when she described the best boss she ever had. He had many strengths, but what she remembered as the most remarkable was his ability to be 100% present in every moment.

She remembered vividly how he was in meetings. While others were distracted, thinking ahead to what they needed to do or reflecting on past conversations, he was engaged in every word, every conversation, participating and listening. She described how his focus on the present was enough to attract a similar presence from everyone round the table like a magnet.

It was the same in one-on-one conversations, when even when they disagreed, she always felt listened to and respected.

How did he achieve this remarkable ability in a world beset with distractions? It partly came from knowing exactly the result he wanted from each meeting, and why it was important to him. If he couldn’t see why it was important to him he didn’t attend.

A second key was his zero tolerance for loose ends. The more loose ends you have – at home as well as at work – the more they will intrude on your thoughts. You will have a nagging feeling that you should be somewhere else, doing something else, undermining your concentration.

Watch the impact on others when know you are exactly where you should be, doing what you need to, to achieve something important to you.