Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.
Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about mindfulness.
“The problem is that many people misunderstand what mindfulness is and how to achieve it. Some confuse mindfulness with effortful thinking and stress. Thinking is only effortful when we fear we will not arrive at the right answer; stress results not from events but from the views we take of events. When we mindlessly believe that something is about to happen and that it will be awful when it does, we experience stress. If we instead mindfully ask ourselves for novel reasons why the thing might not even happen and how it might actually be advantageous even if it did, stress falls away.”
“We’ve all felt overwhelmed during a hectic workday, particularly in our age of constant connectivity. In fact, 40% of workers report their job is ‘very’ or ‘extremely stressful. During moments when we must contend with high demand and tight deadlines, quality can be sacrificed in the name of efficiency, creating a lose-lose situation for businesses and employees. Active mindfulness may just be the solution to work-related anxieties and higher quality output that many are seeking.”
“Two and a half millenniums ago, a prince named Siddhartha Gautama traveled to Bodh Gaya, India, and began to meditate beneath a tree. Forty-nine days of continuous meditation later, tradition tells us, he became the Buddha — the enlightened one. More recently, a psychologist named Amishi Jha traveled to Hawaii to train United States Marines to use the same technique for shorter sessions to achieve a much different purpose: mental resilience in a war zone.”
“I led the creation of a Google training program called ‘Search Inside Yourself,’ which was designed to help people put down that mental baggage and approach each new situation with a present, focused mind. It quickly became the most highly rated course in all of Google, with huge waiting lists. Search Inside Yourself works in three steps. It begins with attention training to create a quality of mind that is calm and clear. We then focus on developing a depth of self-knowledge that leads to self-mastery, because when you can clearly and objectively see when and how you are triggered, you can begin to effectively deploy mental and emotional strategies to skillfully navigate those situations. Finally, we cultivate mental skills such as empathy and compassion, which are conducive to better social skills.”
“CEOs and founders share the mindfulness practices they’ve incorporated into their routines—and how these techniques have changed their leadership.”
“Mindfulness in the workplace has become increasingly common at massive corporations where offices double as adult playgrounds (or, like, very swanky dungeons). Cameron’s argument, and the argument in general, for marrying mindfulness to workplace productivity is that because work looms so large in our lives, it’s only reasonable that we dedicate as much physical and mental energy to it as possible. ‘We spend more time at work than we actually do with our family, and sometimes there can be frictions. People are working in teams, so mindfulness can act like a buffer to improve relational coordination and functioning,’ Cameron said to Knowledge@Wharton. Not to be all ‘Have you guys seen the new season of Black Mirror?’ but the idea of practicing mindfulness specifically to become a more pleasant employee is bleak and dystopian.”
Mindfulness, 25th anniversary edition by Ellen J. Langer
Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power by Dan Hurley
Show Up as Your Best Self: Mindful Leaders, Meditation, & More by Cathy Quartner Bailey and Zinnia Horne