Ten Tips for Dad on Leadership and Mindfulness

As a director in the Forest Service, my dad empowers others to save, protect and grow our country’s national parks. He leads scientists, administrators, foresters and more. We often discuss leadership, and how to develop our natural, and human, resources.

Today, Dad sent me a great excerpt from a recent speech by James Bolden to NASA employees. I’m inspired by how leadership, in public and private sectors, is critical to making dreams as big as walking on the moon happen. A common thread is the visionary leader. 

 Below are the highlights from this speech as well as three tips for mindful leadership. Share these with your dad and the leaders in your life.  (All quotes from James Bolden unless otherwise noted)

 1)     Provide Opportunities for Your Team (and family) to Grow

a.      “Our very smartest and best employees need to keep learning. No matter where we are, there’s always someone who can push us along or help us see something in a different way. Sometimes a novel and innovative way that would have not otherwise come out.”

2)     Listen First

a.      “Who’s sitting across from you at the table? What makes them tick? What do they want? How are they like you, and more importantly, how are they different?”

3)     Tell Them you Love Them, Each Day

a.      “Do not let a day pass that you don’t find an employee to tell them what a great job they are doing, and do not let a day pass to them how important they are to the organization”

4)     Work Your Upper Body

a.      Raising your arms overhead can be invigorating and help improve posture. Stand up tall, reach your arms overhead and take 5 full inhales.

5)     Be Willing to Ask for Directions (or any kind of help)

a.      “One of the most important things a leader can do is ask for help. Be willing to ask for help. None of us know it all, nor should we.”

6)     Expect the Best from Yourself

a.      “While I do expect excellence from my people, I expect much more from myself.”

7)     Make a Commitment Each Day to Your Mental Health

a.      As little as 10 minutes a day in meditation can change your outlook, and your brain. Take time to meditate and focus on your breath before you walk in the door back home or first thing in the morning. Try one of our tools in our library of mindful content here.

8)     Be Courageous in Your Vision 

a.      “Don’t be afraid to set aggressive and far-reaching goals. Don’t be afraid to depend on your people. They’ll work hard if you’ve given them the freedom and vision to give their best.”

9)     Take Time for Personal Renewal

a.      Getting away is great for fresh perspectives and creativity. Bill Gates takes a week every six months simply to reflect. 

10)  Make Opportunities for Yourself to Grow

a.      “As leaders, it’s (about) what we have inside and how we grow, and how we share that with others.”


How are you growing? Give yourself, your Dad, or the leaders in your life an opportunity to strengthen their inner executive, with a customized coaching session from Executive Sutra. Learn more HERE. When you sign up, you and dad receive a free copy of our ebook, The Energized Executive: How to Get Focused, Strong & Calm.


Happy Father’s Day and Thank You Dad!