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Mindfulness Meditation Is a Management Tool

Steve Jobs, and thousands of CEOs since, have used it to improve focus, remain calm, and tap into creativity

Source | www.inc.com | GEOFFREY JAMES

I’ve been reading (and writing) business books since the 1980s, and, as I’ve pointed out previously, much of the advice they give today seems hopelessly dated. Ditto with the advice of management gurus. The world has changed; things are different.

Given that’s the case, where should an entrepreneur (either internal or external) be looking to improve their leadership skills? Outside of reading about how great leaders (like Winston Churchill) managed during a crisis, I think there’s only one place to turn: inward.

Being an entrepreneur means being a leader, and you can’t possibly be an effective leader if you’re crippled by anxiety and panic. This is true regardless of what’s going on in your business or in the larger, outside world.

Popping a Xanax won’t cut it. If you want to inspire your team to achieve more than they thought possible, you’ve got to role model the sense of calm, purpose, and focus from which both creativity and endurance emerge.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed some of the most talented managers and entrepreneurs in the world, and I can say with the authority of experience that the CEOs whose companies do best during difficult times are those who have a rich internal life.

It might be meditation, it might be prayer, it might be philosophy, but when you’re working with these CEOs, you quickly sense that everything they do emerges from and is colored by their self-awareness.

The other CEOs–the ones who are all about showmanship, bluster, and bluff–inevitably reveal, in times of trouble, that they’re worse than empty suits.

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