Mindfulness is the art of living in the moment. AMA’s global study on “Mindfulness in the Workplace: Practices and Implications” by Miles Overholt and Mark Vickers, finds that mindfulness is strongly endorsed by those who practice some form of it. But how did mindfulness become something other than a therapeutic technique or a part of a meditative practice?
In his 1968 book, The Age of Discontinuity, management legend Peter Drucker argued that leaders should have “trained perception” and “disciplined emotion.” Since then, some mindfulness champions have argued that mindfulness techniques can be used to achieve those goals. Another influential management thinker, Daniel Goleman, wrote about emotional IQ in his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Since then, Goleman has suggested mindfulness as a practice that leaders can use to become better aware of their thoughts and feelings, as well as improve their concentration.
By the turn of the twenty-first century, mindfulness and mindful living was gaining the attention of the business world. Michael Carroll, a former Wall Street and major corporate executive, wrote about mindfulness in the workplace in his seminal book, Awake at Work. His work was widely accepted, and mindfulness became known as a performance-enhancing tool in the workplace.
More recently, James Scouller, in Three Levels of Leadership, has taken the concept of mindfulness and integrated it into previous leadership models. In his 3P model, mindfulness, meditation and calmness are seen as keys to building the “inner core” of a leader.
Mindfulness clearly has come of age and become more mainstream as a management tool in the second decade of this century. Perhaps the best evidence of this — in addition to the proliferation of mindfulness trainers, consultants and experts — is that the influential World Economic Forum at Davos in January 2013 invited speakers on mindfulness. In April 2014, a Time magazine cover declared “The Mindful Revolution.” Today, hundreds of organizations across the world are using mindfulness techniques in their training programs. Among them are General Mills, Google, eBay and National Health Service in the UK.
Want to learn more about mindfulness and how it impacts business? Check out these statistics from a recent report on mindfulness conducted by Miles Overholt and Mark Vickers:
Being an effective leader means incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine. Use AMA's tools to learn how to improve concentration and discipline your emotions.