Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mindful Leadership

If you go to see people speak at a conference on "Mindful Leadership," you are probably a follower.  If you think the speakers are "thought leaders" on "mindful leadership" then you really aren't being a mindful leader, even if you fork over approximately 400 bucks for the "early adopter fee."

If you think:

Workplace leadership is all about growing the business, meeting the deadline, closing the deal, and finishing the project. And the speed and pace can be intense - getting it done faster, better, cheaper and smarter. Such a work style with all its ambition and energy has its benefits no doubt, but it also has a profound blind spot: in our relentless pursuit of ‘success’, we often forget to live our lives. When we lead a career that is excessively focused on being more successful, more admired or just more comfortable, we can deceive ourselves into neglecting the world around us, where we end up managing our lives rather than actually living them. 

and you're not some guy named Michael Carroll, that's another person's narrative, somebody else's picture of a rice cake, so to speak. 

Where do you find yourself?


n. yeti said...

This conference is about how to convert or adapt mindfulness teachings into systems and methods of economic exploitation. It is the 21st century equivalent of using Genesis (Noah's curse of Ham) to justify enslavement of Africans in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Mumon K said...

It's also fundamentally futile, and if the folks involved can't recognize that, woe to all who attend that shindig.

n. yeti said...

To be generous with the West, the Buddhist wisdom cycles are still rather new and poorly understood. That may explain, but does not excuse, a conference which seems hell bent upon transforming a soteriological contemplative practice into a trendy mercantile commodity. Zen is not a Zumba class. This emphasis on a false set of handy material assumptions (be a better this or better that) about "mindfulness" is a hydra-headed and chimeric distraction from the true aim of liberation from this death trap.

Barbara O'Brien said...

"Zen is not a Zumba class." Can't argue with that. Sometimes it seems the worst thing that can happen to any part of Buddhism is to become trendy, starting with Beat Zen back in the 1950s. Western culture, American in particular, relentlessly turns everything into a marketable product.

FYI shut down all the blog sections a couple of months ago, so the Buddhism blog is no more (I still write articles there, though.) I have a new blog at

Mumon K said...

Thanks; I will update my blog linkage.

n. yeti said...

Hi Barbara, just now seeing this. Thanks for the update!