Tarra Mitchell is the author of The Yoga of Leadership and she is integrating her distinctive background in business and yoga to contribute to the great conversation about leadership and consciousness. Her book demonstrates how personal well-being is not only principle centric but also a leading indicator of success at work and in life. Tarra has practiced yoga for over twenty years and has studied extensively with master yoga teachers and private mentors. Below she explains how important it is to take care of yourself before you take care of others, especially when you’re in a leadership position.
When we think about the qualities of an ideal leader, words like “decisive,” “charismatic,” “visionary”, and “resilient” may come to mind.
Yet we don’t always consider how to maintain qualities like these. Often, the word ‘leadership’ is correlated simply with holding a position of power. By focusing on words and labels alone, the deeper responsibility of being a leader—in fact, the very essence of the word ‘leader’ itself— becomes distorted.
In a more apt definition, leaders performing at an optimal level are awake, aware, and inspiring. They are resilient, have control of their mind and senses and can see life at a deeper level—thus inspiring their teams to strive for and reach their highest possible level of work. They also do their personal best to serve as positive examples—including by taking care of their physical health, cultivating mental strength and resilience, and operating with principle and purpose.
It is particularly important for leaders to maintain their holistic health because a team is neither inspired nor motivated by leaders who are depleted, depressed, or disconnected. Neither are they motivated by leaders who are anxious and uncontrolled. Self-awareness and self-care are mandatory prerequisites to performance and success.