Mindful leadership for audit leaders

Mindfulness is a philosophy not a science. There may be aspects that resonate with you more than others. Perhaps it is something to explore with your team - mindful auditing may help to reduce some of the operational pressures that auditors are exposed to. Mindfulness provides a way to press the pause button just long enough to settle the mind.

To be objective. To be productive. To be calm.

With corporate governance almost continually under the spotlight, and not in a positive way, internal audit is under increasing pressure to perform. We need to be the best leaders we can possibly be.

Perhaps mindful leadership has some of the answers.

Why mindful leadership is relevant to internal audit

Mindful leadership focuses on the practical, for example:

  • Typical words associated with the concept, that resonate with internal auditors include - objectivity, productivity, engagement, culture, performance, stress management, energy, focus, stewardship, accountability and sustainability - sound familiar?
  • Internal audit planning is often challenging for internal auditors so perhaps a mindful approach may help with the complexities of audit planning, offering an alternative lens to the intricacies of prioritising assurance coverage and managing relationships.
  • As internal auditors, one of the key drivers is adding value, so an enhanced understanding of the mindfulness concept may also add value when considering specific audit engagements such as culture, staff turnover and absence management.
  • Internal audit is a people dependent profession. Attracting and engaging talent is critical. Perhaps the positive environment that mindful leadership promotes could be invaluable in creating a culture that supports the creative, complex, cerebral work of auditors.
  • Communication is a key aspect of auditing. Mindfulness looks at ways to improve active listening, maintaining focus and giving a task complete attention without distraction. A priceless gift for an auditor.

What is mindful leadership?