Mindfulness and Business (two articles worth reading)

What is it Doing in Boardrooms?

An extract from a recent article that might be of interest if you are an executive wondering how mindfulness can help you.

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Bill George, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and former chair and CEO of Medtronic, writes, “The practice of mindful leadership gives you tools to manage your life. It teaches you to pay attention to the present moment, recognising your feelings and keeping them under control, especially in stressful situations.”

Ambiguity, pressure, accountability, and the need to continuously improve performance forces leaders to look inwards. The insight that the success of an intervention is directly proportional to the inner conditions of the intervener suddenly becomes apparent. Many CEOs I coach believe inner calm, emotional stability, greater self-awareness and resilience are traits that create more fulfilment in life. Indian organisations have yet to officially embrace the concept of mindfulness in mainstream business, but many provide stress management and emotional intelligence workshops for employees.

Dr Michael D. Yapko, a psychotherapist and mindfulness advocate, and author of the book Mindfulness and Hypnosis, emphasised how trance states can help raise awareness and aid personal transformation. Outside the worlds of glamour and business, too, therapists are using mindfulness tools to help patients recover faster.

Many leadership development programmes teach tools for reflection and self-awareness. Consulting firms such as McKinsey & Co have adopted meditation as a tool in leadership development initiatives. Gita Bellin, formerly secretary to Mahesh Yogi, taught meditation and personal transformation workshops for its employees.

Kate Pickert, writing in Time, notes that “we’re in the midst of a popular obsession with mindfulness as the secret to health and happiness ‘ and a growing body of evidence suggests it has clear benefits.” Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh perhaps summed up mindfulness the best when he wrote: “The biggest (and hardest) lesson I’ve learned… is that the external world is just a reflection of the world within.”

Steve Jobs was a strong believer in mindfulness. “If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is,” he told his biographer, Walter Isaacson. “If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things ‘ that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.”

So would Indian leaders and organisations make mindfulness an integral part of leadership development initiatives? Will we see a conference where yogis and CEOs rub shoulders? It’s not a lot to ask one to be in touch with oneself. Is it? ~

For full article follow the link:  http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/santhosh-babu-on-indian-organisation/1/204549.html

Is Mindfulness being corrupted by business and Finance?

Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness has become an increasingly popular topic among business leaders, with several key executives speaking publicly in recent months about how it helps them improve the bottom line.

Intermix CEO Khajak Keledjian last week shared his secrets to inner peace with The Wall Street Journal. Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of the Huffington Post, discussed mindfulness in Thrive, her new book released this week. Other business leaders who meditate include Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, to name just a few.

In a blog post last month, Huffington wrote that “there’s nothing touchy-feely about increased profits. This is a tough economy. … Stress-reduction and mindfulness don’t just make us happier and healthier, they’re a proven competitive advantage for any business that wants one.”

For full article follow the link:  http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/thich-nhat-hanh-mindfulness-google-tech

How Mindfulness is making its way into the US Congress

This is pleasing to see the spread of the influence of Mindfulness as the benefits of it’s practise are being recognised and championed in new arean’s.

Jon Kabat-Zinn talks about Mindfulness

Talking about mindfulness as a way of being, where science meets meditation and the art of cultivating awareness through our bodies, this is a short but thought provoking piece.