Mindful Leadership Blog

The Mindful Leader's Essential Question: "What Can Only I Do?"

Feb 05, 2024


In the bustling world of leadership, where multitasking seems like the norm, a vital question often gets overlooked: "What can only I do?" This seemingly simple inquiry lies at the heart of mindful leadership—a pathway to create space for mindfulness and deeper connections within your team.

The Purpose of Identifying Uniqueness

As leaders, juggling numerous responsibilities is common. However, amid the chaos, it's crucial to discern tasks that truly require your expertise, vision, and strategic input. The question—"What can only I do?"— serves as a compass, guiding leaders to pinpoint their unique contributions that solely they can bring to the table.

Gaining Clarity Through Assessment

Answering this pivotal question demands a thorough examination of your roles and responsibilities. Identify each task, dissecting them into categories—those exclusive to your expertise and those that genuinely bring you joy and alignment. Highlight responsibilities like executive team decisions, setting vision, strategic planning, problem-solving, or crucial leadership meetings that distinctly require your involvement.

The Joy of Being in Flow

Delve deeper into tasks that bring you into a state of flow—activities that resonate with your passion and proficiency. These are moments where time seems to dissipate, and you're entirely engrossed in the task at hand. These activities, if aligned with your unique skill set, should be preserved whenever possible.

Letting Go and Delegating Mindfully

Consider everything else. All tasks that neither fall into your unique contribution nor align with activities bringing you joy should be either delegated or discarded. Delegation isn't just a means to lighten your load; it's an opportunity to empower and nurture growth within your team. It's a mindful act that cultivates presence by creating space for what truly matters.

Embracing Stillness and Presence

Presence blossoms amidst stillness and space. Mindful leaders prioritize being more present and engaged, allowing them to do less while fostering meaningful connections. By clearing the clutter of unnecessary tasks, leaders open themselves to being fully available and attentive to their teams.


Leading with Mindfulness

In conclusion, the question "What can only I do?" serves as a beacon for mindful leadership. It guides leaders to distinguish between critical contributions and routine tasks, fostering a more present and engaged leadership style. By creating space for mindful connections, leaders not only empower themselves but also nurture growth and efficiency within their teams.

Let this inquiry guide your leadership journey, enabling you to be more present, impactful, and connected with your team.

I wrote a book, Profit with Presence: The 12 Pillars of Mindful Leadership, which goes in to further detail about this topic and more.

Although the world is currently abuzz with the term “mindfulness,” some believe mindfulness is a fringe activity to be practiced before or after the workday, if at all. Too few business professionals take the time needed to be present and aware throughout the workday, which is counterproductive. Mindfulness is not only a path to personal success, but a sound business strategy.  

My hope is to positively impact the world through infusing more mindfulness into business -- and it starts with each of us individually. Together, we can create a future where mindfulness is deeply embedded in our work culture, leading to greater well-being, productivity, and meaningful success for all.

- Dr Eric Holsapple


Get my free mindfulness resources here

Learn more about my book, Profit with Presence: The 12 Pillars of Mindful Leadership here

Check out the Profit with Presence Podcast Miniseries here

Watch videos on YouTube here

Learn more about my nonprofit, Living in the Gap, here


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