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Overseas Talk
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Mindful leadership – When east meets west

Issue Date - 24/11/2011
Q: Do you think business schools should be paying more attention to this subject?
WG: Any business school committed to developing leaders needs to offer courses and other experiential opportunities that enable students to develop greater awareness of themselves, their motivations, and their strengths and shortcomings. This process is most effective when real-world experiences can be reflected upon to deepen self-understanding in a supportive and trusting environment. This is the central tenet of the Authentic Leadership Development (ALD) course at Harvard Business School, which is soon to be offered to leaders as part of the School’s Executive Education offerings.

Q: If our readers want to learn more about mindful leadership, which resources would you recommend?
WG: Current literature on this subject is limited because the ideas are still in the early stages of development. I highly recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, and his CD-guided Mindfulness Meditation, and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s books, The Joy of Living and Joyful Wisdom. In the ALD course at HBS, we use my book True North and its companion workbook, Finding Your True North: A Personal Guide.

Q: What are you working on next?
WG: I am working on a book on peer support groups with Doug Baker that is tentatively titled, True North Groups: The Vital Link. These groups are based on the Leadership Development Groups we use at HBS and the groups Doug and I have participated in for more than 25 years. Many of the ideas we explored in the Mindful Leadership conference will be covered in this book.

Steven Philip Warner           

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