Last night, as part of the 43rd World Economic Forum, a panel of experts explored what psychology has to offer when it comes to leadership at an interactive dinner session entitled The Mindful Leader. Many of the speakers have experience incorporating mindfulness into their own leadership. Here are some of their thoughts on incorporating mindful practices into more traditional forms of leadership, in their own words.
William W. George, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic, author of four best-selling books, in a Harvard Business School Q&A:
Mindfulness is a state of being fully present, aware of oneself and other people, and sensitive to one's reactions to stressful situations. Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others, and motivating them toward shared goals. Hence, they become more effective in leadership roles.
Lynda Gratton, professor of management practice at London Business School, founder of the Hot Spots Movement, and author of seven books and numerous academic articles, in a Harvard Business Review article:
As for diversity, the challenging tasks facing businesses today almost always require the input and expertise of people with disparate views and backgrounds to create cross-fertilization that sparks insight and innovation. But diversity also creates problems. Our research shows that team members collaborate more easily and naturally if they perceive themselves as being alike.
Sheena Iyengar has taught courses at Columbia Business School to MBAs, executive MBAs and executives, including ''Thinking Globally,'' ''Leadership Development,'' ''Entrepreneurial Creativity,'' and an ''Advanced Doctorate Organizational Behavior Seminar," in "The Art of Choosing":
What you see determines how you interpret the world, which in turn influences what you expect of the world and how you expect the story of your life to unfold.
Presence is a dynamic and fluid sense of being fully present in body, mind and heart and knowing it.
Other speakers included:
Mary Tolan, founder, president and chief executive officer and a director of Accretive Health
Santiago Siri, Chief Innovator at Grupo 42, activist, co-founder of ADVA
Adam Anderson is the Canada Research Chair in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience in the Psychology Department of the University of Toronto and an Associate editor for the journal Emotion.