Business leaders need to be mindful to be effective, says ACCA report

Business leaders need to be mindful to be effective, says ACCA report

Business leaders need to have “mindfulness” over mathematics skills in order to be effective and avoid scandals, according to a report conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

The report, titled “CFOs and the c-suite - leadership fit for the 21st century”, stated that traditional leadership training is “out of touch” with the senior business executives of today and that leaders need to be mindful in order to make decisions in “turbulent circumstances”, support self-regulation and avoid toxic stress. 

Simple practices

Palma Michel, co-author of the report, outlined the risks of “applying yesterday’s business frameworks, solutions and behaviours to tomorrow’s problems”, stating that doing so will not work and that a new set of leadership skills is required to face new challenges.  

She added: “The increase in competition, risk and uncertainty that comes with this new reality can often lead to caveman-like fight-flight-freeze reactions for many senior executives. When people are faced with change or feel under pressure, there is a tendency to fall into fear-based reactivity instead of being able to respond according to what the situation requires.”

She then listed the benefits of being mindful, adding that it enables CFOs to “manage their inner landscape and get into a different relationship to their thoughts, emotions and stress.”

She stated that business leaders can use “simple mindfulness practices” to improve the decision making process, especially during “turbulent circumstances.”

Increased awareness

According to Michel, increased awareness of others can help CFOs to become better relationship managers, aligning to a workforce behind a common purpose and allowing them to be more “inspiring, wise and effective leaders.” 

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