MINDFULNESS AND LEADERSHIP
Many people today are looking at other ways to understand their thinking and have used techniques such as mindfulness. Keiron Sparrowhawk, author of Executive Function: Cognitive Fitness For Business and CEO of MyCognition says mindfulness can be very powerful . He explains in his book thatÂ through meditation you bring your mind and senses to consider your current situation; you bring yourself Â to “now”. Mindfulness brings your mind to the present and effectively says, “Here and now you are in a good situation, so stop worrying about the past and the future.” The technique works for millions of mindfulness practitioners, but be careful, there may be a price to pay for being in the “now”. Here is an extract from his book explaining why.
Episodic memory is your ability to recall specific events and to recall the outcomes, the people, and places associated with those events. It is your wisdom and increases as you go round the block a few times, building your experience reservoir as you go. However, with a strong episodic memory you find you accumulate the wisdom quicker than your peers. You are the Curator of your company’s values and knowledge.
With an effective executive function, you are the Pilot, the visionary and strategist within your organisation. Executive function is your ability to plan and organize, to think out of the box, to attempt new tasks and be creative. It is also your ability to inhibit actions because you are able to consider the consequences of them on yourself and on others.
The price you may have to pay with mindfulness is that, by being in the present, you blunt your episodic memory and executive function. By blocking your rumination and catastrophizing, you may also block some of the wisdom and creativity in your cognitive skill set. Mindfulness may still bring you many benefits, and people who get those benefits should continue with it. But you should use it knowing there could be an opportunity cost. Where the positives outweigh the costs, mindfulness is powerful and many of you have benefited from it.
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