Mindful Academic Leadership

Mindfulness, which we can define as giving nonjudgmental attentiveness to each experience as it occurs, has begun to receive a great deal of attention in academic circles. The health benefits of mindfulness are well established. Studies have demonstrated that it can alleviate chronic pain (Wong, Chan, Wong, Chu, Kitty, Mercer, and Ma, 2011), decrease the urge to smoke (Brewer, Mallik, Babuscio, Nich, Johnson, Deleone, Minnix-Cotton, and Rounsaville, 2011), and help people cope with stress (Schreiner and Malcolm, 2008). Leadership strategies based on mindfulness are increasingly taken seriously in the corporate world (see, for example, Karakas, 2011, and Veil, 2011), and a number of training programs either specialize in mindfulness-based leadership or offer it among their other workshops. See, for example, the Authentic Leadership in Action Institute (www.aliainstitute.org), the Institute for Mindful Leadership (www.instituteformindfulleadership.org), the Bradford Clark Group (www.satiguru.com/index.html), and ATLAS Leadership Training (www.atlasleadership.com).

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