Episode 23: David Rome On The Wisdom Of A Leader’s Body [The Amiel Show]

In the past decade, an increasing number of leaders have had an astonishing insight: they have bodies.

This sounds silly to point out. Of course we all have bodies. We are human beings. Why is this a big deal?

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Here is why: For decades, we’ve left the body out of the equation. Look at any book on leadership or management published between 1950 and 2005. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything about leaders’ bodies. Consider my own experience. When I started developing leaders in the mid 1990s, we talked about leadership competencies, how people change, and a dozen models of excellence. Cool stuff, but it was purely cognitive. One hundred percent was about how to shift minds. The body was nowhere to be found.

Fortunately, this has begun to shift.

David-Rome

Neuroscience teaches us that changing ourselves involves rewiring the brain’s neural pathways. The study of emotional intelligence suggests that reading our emotions and others’ is a distinctly physical act. And studies of high performance reveal that sleep, nutrition, regular breaks, and sustained periods of “flow” are must-haves for leadership excellence.

The secret is out: The body isn’t a peripheral concern. It is central to leadership.

So if you’re facing a big decision, navigating an interpersonal conflict, or building a team, keep this in mind: your body knows the answer.

Your Body Knows The Answer. That’s not just a clever phrase. It’s also the title of a new book by David Rome. David is a mindfulness teacher and seasoned executive. He began practicing Buddhism in 1971 and served for many years as the private secretary to the great Tibetan Buddhist master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

This week on the podcast, David and I talk about how to use mindful focusing and the body’s “felt sense” to rise to many challenges of leadership.

Highlights

  • 9:00 What are “felt senses” and why do they rarely break into your consciousness?
  • 16:00 Negotiating a complex deal between two organizations–and how the felt sense saved the day
  • 24:30 How the felt sense can help you in a crisis
  • 31:00 Using mindful focusing when you have to fire someone or make another tough decision
  • 40:00 A simple focusing practice you can do right now
  • 51:00 When and how to practice mindful focusing
  • 53:00 What it was like being private secretary to the great Tibetan Buddhist master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
  • 57:00 What David is deliberately practicing to grow as a person

Listen to the Podcast

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Mindful focusing is a critical skill in advancing your own development.

–David Rome  Tweet this quote

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