Feel like the world is passing you by as you rush through another workday? Like you never have enough energy to manage the team you’re supposed to be leading, let alone leading yourself to what you need to get done? What you need is focus. Focus is at the core of effective leadership, but cultivating it has become daunting in our age of globalization, fast technological change, and environmental challenges. As a leader, you need tools to navigate these unknown territories. One of the most effective tools is mindfulness: paying attention, openly and curiously, to what happens in the present moment.
This book is full of insights and exercises that teach leaders and leaders-to-be how to practice mindfulness. It shows how mindfulness allows you to become more mentally and physically resilient, more easily able to switch between action and reflection, and better equipped at knowing when to focus on yourself or the world around you.
But mindfulness-based leadership doesn’t stop there. By learning to focus, you learn to work with your team more effectively. Nurturing a mindful corporate culture helps you solve problems and build healthy strategies that will benefit you, your colleagues, and your organization.
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"This book does a great job of bringing together the important ideas of Mindfulness and Otto Scharmer ‘s powerful Theory U as an aid to leaders and managers in coping with the increasing stresses of organizational life."
- Edgar H Schein, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management.
Author of Organizational Culture and Leadership and of Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art f Asking instead of Telling.
Just imagine if a good proportion of leaders in all sectors really were mindful – self-aware, resilient, open and less imprisoned either by habits or hang-ups? How different would the world be? Wibo Koole ‘s book rightly asks us to see this as an achievable goal and provides pointers as to how it could be achieved.
- Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, and author of The Locust and the Bee (Princeton University Press) .
Filled with practical insights and a wealth of practical tools based on his experiences as a director and mindfulness teacher, Wibo Koole shows us how mindfulness enables leaders and their organizations to tackle and become freed from deep-rooted, limiting patterns of behavior. A compelling and inspirational read for leaders of all kinds.
- Lisa Lahey is faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, founder of MINDS AT WORK®, and author (with Robert Kegan) of Immunity to Change, and other books that help people to close the gap between their good intentions and behavior.
Mindful leadership points at the biggest leverage point we have for initiating and sustaining positive change: our awareness. This much needed book provides insights, tools and practices for how to create awareness as leaders and teams in organizations, and shows how mindful leaders can foster a culture of awareness-based strategy development in organizations.
- Otto Scharmer, senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Theory U, the social technology of presencing , of Leading from the emerging future. From ego-system to eco-system economy (with Katrin Kaeufer) and of Presence (with Peter Senge, Betty Sue Flowers and Joseph Jaworksi).
In our rapidly changing world, leadership requires that our minds be flexible and open like never before. But how? Mindfulness training helps us meet the inevitable challenges of our lives with curiosity, ease, courage, and warmth. Wibo Koole expertly guides the reader into core concepts and practices that have the power to transform individuals and their teams, both inside and out.
- Christopher Germer, PhD, Clinical Instructor, Harvard Medical School; Author, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion; Co-editor, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
“In an age where we are constantly confronted with even bigger and more complex interconnected challenges, true leadership makes the difference. Leadership that is on a constant mindful journey to see the whole and the parts, to explore and know yourself while recognizing and connecting with others. Wibo gives in his book a very compelling and practical description of how leaders can shift their mindset and become more resilient, have unconditional responsibility and become more innovative and connecting. It starts with yourself and it is the most rewarding journey of all.
- Lucas Simons, founder and CEO NewForesight and SCOPEinsight. Young Global Leader – World Economic Forum and Ashoka Fellow. Former director Utz Certified.
Bringing the wisdom of mindfulness meditation to the challenges of leading organizations has finally found traction in business schools, law firms, hospitals, board rooms and more and Wibo ‘s contribution to this trend is central. I highly recommend exploring the topic of mindful leadership and this book is an excellent guide.
- Michael Carroll, author The Mindful Leader
What were once esoteric teachings of Buddhism are now commonplace in school, hospitals, and boardrooms. In a clear and concise way, Wibo Koole demystifies mindfulness and explains how it can make a measurable difference in organizational leadership.
- Jay Michaelson/, author of Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism and the Next Generation of Enlightenment
While many managers have intelligence, experience, and interpersonal skills, truly outstanding leaders possess something rarer and more important: deep wisdom. In this clear, practical, step-by-step guide, Wibo Koole shows us how to use the power of mindfulness to develop managerial wisdom—the ability to see the big picture and respond skillfully to challenges rather than react out of our fear or egoistic concerns. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to be a wiser, happier, and more effective leader.
- Ronald D. Siegel, Psy. D. Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School
Author, The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems
Wibo has written a book that is practical, grounded and urgently needed. In mindful leadership lies the answer to many of humanity's challenges making this a much needed book.
- Zaid Hassan, co-founder and partners of Reos consultants and author of The Social Labs Revolutions (BK Books 2014)
“In our complex world, it is crucial that organizations continue to learn from both success and failure. The leadership this demands must focus on taking responsibility. Koole ‘s work gives a wonderful insight into the liberation this can engender.”
- Dick Benschop, Chairman Shell Nederland BV and former Secretary of State for European Affairs.
“Wibo is able to translate mindfulness in a lucid way into the way organizations work. He offers practical exercises for individuals and teams which you can apply in your daily work. In addition, he is able to make a convincing connection between mindfulness and organizational change using the
Theory U. This book is a must for every manager!”
- Hein Dijksterhuis, partner in the organizational consultancy UNOO, former world champion sailing Flying Dutchman class.
“We have to deal with cutbacks and with the urgent necessity of improving our services and responding better to social issues. You can’t do that by indiscriminate cuts or hastily chosen priorities. Wibo Koole ‘s book is an inspiration for attentively achieving results by calmly assessing one’s own role with similar attention.”
- Erik Heijdelberg, CEO of William Schrikker Group, youth protection and Public Services Manager of the Year 2010.
“Mindful leadership clarifies in a well documented, logical and innovative way how the metaperspective of mindfulness can be applied in leadership and integrated into teams and organizations. A pioneering book.”
- Frits Koster, vipassana meditation teacher, mindfulness and compassion trainer, author of books including Liberating Insight’ and ‘Compassionate Living.
“Interesting book, particularly now when increasing complexity in our environment makes mutual relationships more and more important. Contents is vital, but people make the difference. Leadership thus begins with self-reflection and ends with compassion. This book clearly demonstrates how to put this into practice in your organization.”
- Marike van Lier Lels, Supervisory Board member at KPN, Reed Elsevier, USG People and TKH, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Nature and Environment Foundation and member of the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.
“In this clear and practical book, Wibo Koole shows how the world of leadership and mindfulness seamlessly interact. Leadership combined with mindfulness not only facilitates a proper functioning of the organization, but does so on the basis of the development of employees who feel demonstrably better. Koole shows that he thoroughly knows both worlds and that makes this book both practical and inspiring.”
- Rients Ritskes, zen teacher and author of Learn to feel what you want to feel and Zen Management.
‘Increasingly, neuroresearch shows that wisdom and leadership are stimulated by pausing for a moment. Pausing, being aware of the present, is, however, a discipline you must and can learn. Wibo shows how you can do this and why it is so important. A must for anybody who wishes to remain resilient.”
- Jaap Schaveling, associate professor Organizational Psychology, Organizational Dynamics and Leadership, Nyenrode Business University and author of Systeemdenken. Van goed bedoeld naar goed gedaan [System Thinking: From good intentions to good actions].
“The most significant issues in life often go over our head. We cannot fully understand, control or predict them. That is as true in our private lives as it is in organizations. Learning to deal confidently with this sort of uncertainty is one of those issues. Wibo Koole examines how we can make such paradoxical skills our own as leaders. This book inspires you to undertake such as examination.”
- Hans Vermaak, associate partner Twynstra Gudde and Sioo, author of Learning Change and Enjoying tough issues.
‘Wibo Koole describes mindfulness in a clear and practically-driven way as the cement in cultural change processes at individual, team and organization levels. Mindful leadership is a must for everybody who has the courage, in this world of constant change, to create room for sustainable
innovations by consciously and attentively looking at himself and his surroundings.”
- Dr. Carla L.J. Wijers, Associate Dean TSM Business School.
“Presence of mind and compassion are crucial leadership qualities for taking responsibility for a sustainable future. Mindfulness training is of considerable value there, as this book shows in an inspirational and practical way.”
- Herman Wijffels, professor of Sustainability and Social Change, University of Utrecht, former director of the World Bank, former chairman of the Social-Economic Council.
“In this busy and complex times a clear mind that is fully present is essential for leaders, both for politicians as for CEO’s.”
- Melanie Schulz van Haegen, Cabinet Minister for Infrastructure and Environment and former director of Achmea Health Care Insurance.