According to David Rooke, co-author of The Seven Transformations of Leadership, an article on HBR's top 10 'must reads' on leadership: "most developmental psychologists now agree that what differentiates leaders is not so much their philosophy of leadership, their personality or their style of management. Rather it’s their internal worldview...., how they construct reality and respond to emerging situations". Mindfulness can positivey impact this reality constructing process and the flexibility of response to situations.
Bill George, former chief executive of heathcare giant Medtronic, said in an article in FT Magazine ‘The main business case for (mindfulness) is that if you’re fully present on the job, you will be a more effective leader, you will make better decisions, and you will work better with other people’
Recent research has highlighted he importance of addressing stress and sleep for improved performance at work:
In a recent white paper published by the Centre for Creative Leadership, issues relating to stress and burnout are listed as the top challenges identified by leaders. The paper highlights that ‘the major factor that determines your stress levels is not what exists ‘out there’ in the environment, but what is happening ‘in here’ in your thinking.’
At a recent conference in London hosted by the Neuroleadership Institute, Jessica Payne, the Nancy O’Neill professor of Psychology at Notre Dame University, Indiana, presented research evidence that indicated that a lack of sleep can quickly have as damaging an effect on people’s ability to concentrate and perform as significant levels of alcohol can. Payne highlighted that, contrary to popular convention where we tend to ignore sleep as a factor worthy of managing, sleep is critical on a number of levels for obtaining high levels of performance.