Meditation & Business Leadership
An article from The Independent Newspaper of the Harvard Business School Community (The Harbus) notes a new study that will look into ‘whether meditation can help business leaders increase self-awareness, mental clarity, focus and emotional intelligence. It is often also claimed that meditation helps a leader develop more authenticity, tolerance and empathy, which leads to a greater sense of belongingness and responsibility for the communities they live and work in” (note: 2015 full article no longer available).
Harvard Business School has been a leader in a number of studies in this area, reflecting a growing awareness at Harvard for contemplative studies, including the study led by psychologist Sara Lazar at Harvard Medical School that first documented how meditation produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter (in areas associated with attention and emotional integration); the inclusion of mindfulness practices at the Harvard Law School ‘essential to the art of conflict resolution’; and the cross-university study at HBS that is looking at contemplative dimensions of leadership and leadership education.
One inspiring, creative and focused business leader that comes to my mind (who was also a meditator) ~ is Steve Jobs who visited India in the 70’s, developed an interest in Buddhism and had a Zen practice ..
“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. 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. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”
Steve Jobs (from the Walter Isaacson biography, Steve Jobs)