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Mindful Leadership: Resilience, Collaboration and the Ability to Navigate Compexity



Mindfulness helps leaders to practice in the complex, dynamic and fast-paced context of the 21st century. 


Great leadership today rests three key capacities: resilience, collaboration and the ability to stay agile and to lead in conditions of high complexity.


Michael Chaskalson and Megan Reitz conducted a research programme with a cohort of senior business leaders at Ashridge Executive Education looking at the extent to which our eight-week Mindful Leader training programme would improve these key capacities.


The programme was effective in developing the participants’ capacities for resilience, collaboration and leading in complexity.


We found that it improved three key meta-capacities. We call these AIM: Allowing, Inquiry and Meta-awareness.


Allowing is the ability of let what is the case be the case. It is a kind of clear objectivity. Instead of wishing things were not as they are, it allows things to be as they are and that opens up choice and the ability to act so as to bring about the best outcomes - for oneself, for others and for the situation and system you find yourself in.


Inquiry is a way of being present with openness and fascinated interest.


Meta-awareness is the ability to step back from the flow of experience, just a little, and see what is actually going on in any moment. It is the ability to see, for instance, that your thoughts and feelings at any moment are just thoughts and feelings. They are not the truth of things.


The leaders who developed these capacities found that it opened up a space in their flow of experience. This allowed them to respond, not react, to events.


That in turn enabled them to further develop several critical leadership skills: focus, emotional regulation, empathy, adaptability and perspective taking. That resulted in improvements to their resilience, their capacity for collaboration and their ability to stay agile and to lead in conditions of complexity.


Mindfulness works for leaders today.


To discuss how we might craft a mindful leadership training programme for your own organisation, get in touch.






Mindfulness works but only if you work at it by Megan Reitz & Michael Chaskalson


How to Bring Mindfulness to Your Company’s Leadership by Megan Reitz & Michael Chaskalson



To book a bespoke course or find out how we can help you.




Michael led sessions on mindfulness on our most senior leader development programme. He very successfully introduced the ideas and practices to around 200 senior leaders over a few years and connected the practice of mindfulness really well to elements of the the bank’s leadership framework. Feedback from the sessions was excellent. The leaders responded well to Michael's style and facilitation method and the majority left the session willing to try to embed mindfulness into their daily routine and many have continued to do that.

Senior Manager, Organisational Capability: UK Banking Group