February 4, 2017: With eager minds and a Bruno Mars-filled playlist, six members of our Executive Board hopped in a van destined for the ODK Drive-In Leadership Conference at Virginia Commonwealth University. The conference brought together seven local chapters to discuss a wide range of leadership topics, including the integration of mindfulness and self-care in all of our endeavors. As mindfulness in this capacity is generally a new topic, our executive team was not sure to expect confusion or intrigue.
Safe to say, our day was filled with much of the latter.
Dr. Christopher Reina, a professor with the VCU School of Business, kicked off the program with an unexpected moment of meditation. Attendees were instructed to bring attention to the current room, sounds, and sensations: in essence, existence in the present moment. According to Dr. Reina, leading with a mindful attitude can create an atmosphere of productivity and togetherness. He commented that as leaders, our minds often race with a flurry of thoughts; becoming mentally centered directs our goals during collaboration.
After grounding ourselves via Dr. Reina’s message, we explored the significance of resilient and positive leaders. Our discussion with the other chapters on this topic soon morphed into conversations about how we work to build our communities as ODKers. We learned that amid differing campus traditions and cultures, we all are united by the commonality of wanting to benefit as many interests as we can. As a result, we now feel powerfully equipped with a new set of tangible skills to apply to our daily leadership roles.
And one last thing on behalf of the entire Executive Board – no matter where today takes you, we encourage you to be kind to yourself: take a few mindful minutes to reflect, rejuvenate, and recharge!