How to uncover mindfulness for your personal transformationJul 29, 2023
Leadership expert and Mindset Coach Michele Gennoe published her remarkable book “Mindful Leadership” to support busy professionals to incorporate mindfulness into their leadership practice.
The book reflects her many years of experience in both strategic advisory and coaching roles with owners of small to medium sized businesses as well as larger organisations as CEO, CIO and other C-Suite roles where she was leading difficult technology transformations.
Michele’s journey and 7-step strategy give the reader the opportunity to embark on a journey themselves whilst covering the seven challenges facing a mindful leader. As a transformation specialist, consultant and facilitator with international reputation, she applies her experience in global organisations and for individuals by giving them strategies and tools to uncover solutions and clarity about tactical next steps.
The book also includes case studies from interviews with experts in their fields, tools to address the gaps and key lessons with self-reflective questions. As a born teacher it was important to Michele that her readers learnt new material, heard from someone already practicing it and then got to develop those skills themselves.
Some inspiring and moving sentences that stood out for me while reading were: “Mindfulness will become part of who you are, not just what you do.”, “Today’s leader is no longer a motivator but an inspirer; no longer just a role, but a role-model.”, “Leadership is not always a product of position or authority but one achieved by inspiration, persuasion and connections.” and “Finding a purpose for our lives and translating that into a passion is what adds many layers of richness of experience.”
The structured approach of the book allows for multiple ways to read and use as a tool to learn new leadership habits at different times and in different ways. The practical character of the reflective questions after each chapter enables self-reflection. The range of exercises with lines to add your own notes reinforces that transformation comes from doing the work, not just by reading about it.
There is also a powerful new paradigm for corporate thinking at the start of the book that supports a change in how we understand organisations and our role within them. The graphical descriptions of the models throughout the book speak for themselves.
This book is special to me within the leadership books I read so far for various reasons. Firstly, it stands the test of being published already a while ago. Second, the bite-sized chunks of chapters of ten to 16 pages each support the attention span issues of most professionals these days. And the chosen example scenarios of the thoughts presented by her interviews with experts entice the reader to draw their own conclusions.
Mindful Leadership provides a range of valuable insights for today’s leaders for how to become more authentic, purposeful and inspiring. With an elegant format that is a great example of how to structure a useful business book (interviews, models, questions, useful summaries, comparable size chunks of information) in an easy to read style. Michele has captured the essence of what it means to be a Mindful Leader and presented easy to follow steps to become one yourself.
Interview with Michele Gennoe
1. What was the deciding moment to write this book?
I was participating in an Entrepreneurial course where we were encouraged to write a book. With so many different topics in my mind I sat down to think about it and very quickly it became clear to me to combine the two parts of my life. That this was one of those defining moments where everything I had done beforehand was in preparation for the book. So I combined my corporate career leading difficult technology transformations with my personal development experience of healing through difficult life transformation.
2. How long did it take from concept to launch?
It took six months from concept to hard copy book to launching at a 5-star hotel in Sydney. It was a massive journey from concept to book cover, to book layout, promotion and then the launch itself. There was a large village supporting the birth of this book.
3. How did you perform the research to create the practical content?
The book includes examples for each chapter that were based on interviews with leading Australian businesspeople such as Gordon Cairns (Chairman Woolworths) and Martin Martinez (Founder & CEO at Outbound Group). To ensure that the concepts and model through the 7 P’s to Transformation that the book proposes, were valid.
4. What was the biggest challenge along the process (and how did you overcome it)?
The biggest challenge, and opportunity, was the tight timeline for the turnaround of the book from concept to launch. There were many moving pieces and tight deadlines along that way that were met because of the fabulous support of the crew that believed in the book and helped it come to life.
5. What was your own reflection along the journey?
Writing the book was a very reflective process for me. I felt very guided as I was combining many years of corporate experience with decades of self-development training. From the 30-day (no breaks) leadership training I had done in the US to the software implementations I had led in India. I was reliving each moment as I crafted the steps for transformation in the book.
6. What is the outcome in having this book available?
I came to peace with the multi-faceted nature of who I am. One day I can be presenting a workshop on creating an authentic brand strategy and the next leading a team discussing architectural solutions for an ERP implementation. I love all the aspects of who I am and writing the book helped me to claim these different aspects of who I am.
Once I had that internal alignment then the external alignment also came and now I am known as Mindset Michele.
7. What would you advise others about writing their book?
Just do it. There is no greater gift that you can give yourself then to start the journey of writing your ideas on a page. Yes it can be frustrating, yes you can get stuck… the rewards far outweigh that though. The sense of achievement, of having your book in the National Library for perpetuity, is immense. All it takes is starting with one word after another.
Michele Gennoe: “Mindful Leadership”, The Women's Achievement Institute 2020, ISBN 978-0-99259983-6 (Paperback) or Kindle.
More about the author and the book: www.michelegennoe.com