Earlier this year I had the privilege of hearing Arianna Huffington speak about the power of mindfulness and meditation. During her talk she said:
“2013 was the year that CEOs came out, not as gay, but as meditators.”
Why are so many CEOs beginning to see the value of mindful leadership?
Arianna points to the story of Mark Bertolini, the CEO of a $40 billion healthcare company called Aetna.
Mark broke his neck in a skiing accident in 2004. After the accident, he did a mix of yoga, meditation, and acupuncture to help with his recovery. It had such a huge impact on his life that he wanted his employees to learn it as well. As a result, he made meditation and yoga workshops available to the 35,000 Aetna employees across the U.S.
To test the credibility of these mindful tools, Mark brought in Duke University to study the impact. The researchers found decreased health-care costs and increased productivity amongst staff.
Mark’s story is a great example of what can happen within an organisation when a leader prioritises mindfulness and well-being.
At the Mindful Leadership Global Forum, we’ll have CEOs from Ninemsn and Virgin Velocity and the Chairman of David Jones and Origin Energy coming to share their stories about the importance of mindfulness, compassion and authenticity.
It’s my hope that this Forum will help more CEOs ‘come out’ in support of skills such as mindfulness, compassion and authenticity. Not as a feel good exercise, but to ensure people and organisations flourish and innovate.
This is truly an amazing time in history.
I hope you can join us.