Consider the surgeon who is counseling a family in the pre-op. She is laser focused on the task at hand, and not concerned by anything else. Her ability to be fully immersed in the moment and focus only on the task at hand conveys leadership. Her presence instills confidence in the family and the patient. That intense focus is a signal to everyone that if complications arise she is all in, calm and rational. Her level of presence is enviable.
Contrast this to the harried executive who keeps checking his phone during your meeting. Between emails, texts and tweets there isn’t much attention left for you and the issues at hand. You can spend an hour talking, but nothing is said or decided.
Showing up and being present are radically different. When you’re at work or in a meeting, are you really there? Or are you just physically present? Is your entire attention focused on whatever is in front of you?
If you can’t give a task your full attention, is it even worth doing? How much more effective would your meetings be if you scheduled them for less time, but made them device free? No phones, no laptops, no distractions. It will be scary at first, if you’re not used to dealing with someone who is fully engaged. But it will lead to real discussions and better decisions.
Don’t you owe it to your team and yourself to be all in?