Now, who wants to be a more present leader in the year ahead?

That’s what this post is for – it contains one guided meditation practice for leaders that can, done over time, transform your leadership style. It is simple but helps you create the kind of presence you want for yourself and your work.

This practice, like all mindfulness techniques, requires lifelong devotion. By paying attention and training yourself in these skills, you can reach a depth of presence that is sturdy, inspiring, and attuned to profound wisdom. 

A leader with a deep presence wakes your colleagues, teams, and even the competition. They feel something when they are with you. But how do we grow that?


Instead — start with what you have by training in two skills:



Every mindfulness technique can be categorized into a type. Some meditations help you think more positively about yourself and the world. Ones that open your heart. One like this one from last week helps you detect and discern how inner thoughts affect your leadership. 

There is a whole batch of mindfulness exercises designed (and scientifically proven) to help you appreciate your current reality. They don’t do it by replacing your current reality with something else (nurture-positive techniques). Instead, appreciation techniques train your mind and awareness to experience things as they are by developing your concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity. 

Over time, you see, hear, and feel things differently. You appreciate things that have always been there but don’t have the concentration skills to notice. 


How to develop increased appreciation

Usually, you start this training by focusing on external objects. Then, when you have base skills, you systematically begin to work with the inner dimension and some more obscure techniques. The cool thing is that at each level, you start to appreciate things as your skills grow more and more. 

The appreciation of external objects, followed by appreciation of self, and then appreciation of others will deepen your leadership presence.   



Equanimity is a core mindfulness skill. If you are using mindfulness techniques systematically, you’ll be able to see your equanimity growth. 

Equanimity is a fundamental skill for self-exploration and emotional intelligence. It is frequently misunderstood and often confused with apathy or holding back emotions. It is not that at all. 

Equanimity is a balanced inner state.  To explain this, we can look at the opposite of equanimity. 

If you, as a leader, lose internal balance, you likely have one of the following reactions:

  • You suppress it. The thought/feeling arises in them, and they try to cope by denying, buckling down, stifling, or choking it. They pretend that whatever caused the imbalance didn’t happen and doesn’t affect them. 
  • You identify with it. You have thoughts/feelings, hold onto them, fixate on them, and keep the feelings churning and cycling.

Between these two reactions is a third possibility: the balanced state of non-self-interference…equanimity

As my teacher Shinzen says, “

“Furthermore, when feelings are experienced with equanimity, they assure their proper function as motivators and directors of behavior as opposed to driving and distorting behavior. Thus equanimity plays a critical role in changing negative behaviors…

–Shinzen Young, from “What is Equanimity”

Equanimity supports ideal leadership development. 

The guided practice

Here is a guided practice meditation for leaders to help you appreciate things as they are and build equanimity. You already have everything you need to be a great leader; this helps you train to see it.


Want to go deeper into feeling grounded in your career?

After a decade of studying which mindfulness techniques best support leaders to feel grounded in themselves and their work — I’ve started to compile practice sets/kits for leaders to build specific mindfulness skills. I’ve done the hard work for you to distill the precise practices to support leadership groundedness in this helpful study kit.

As you experiment with this practice, share your experiences, questions, and observations in the comments. I am so excited to meditate with all of you in 2024!