- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (March 13 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781633693425
- ISBN-13: 978-1633693425
- ASIN: 1633693422
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 463 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results Hardcover – Mar 13 2018
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"lays out succinctly and in clear language a three-part approach to leadership…Books like this should be required reading in business schools everywhere." -- Mindful magazine
Advance Praise for The Mind of the Leader:
Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company--
"The Mind of the Leader has captured some of the essentials of leadership in the twenty-first century: being mindful, selfless, and compassionate. With these, we are better able to engage our people and we bring more value to our clients."
Kathleen Hogan, Chief People Officer, Microsoft--
"A forward and practical guide for companies wanting to evolve their leadership capabilities to engage both the minds and the hearts of today's workforce."
Francine Katsoudas, SVP and Chief People Officer, Cisco--
"How leaders communicate, engage, and show up to their teams has never been more important. Creating a world-class team and environment where people can do their best work is the number-one job of a leader, and more than ever leaders are being asked to elevate team performance through innovative leadership. The Mind of the Leader shares important insights and perspectives and lays a path for how you make this happen."
Loren I. Shuster, Chief People Officer, the LEGO Group--
"The Mind of the Leader goes beyond the hyperbole associated with mindfulness today and provides real-world examples from leading executives that can not only provide inspiration to the reader but outline a path toward the cultivation of such critical leadership qualities as selflessness and compassion. Creating the context for others to find meaning, purpose, and a sense of connectedness has become the hallmark of a productive and engaged organization."
Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global--
"In The Mind of the Leader, Hougaard and Carter draw on years of research to show that the traditional, top-down style of leadership doesn't work anymore. The successful leaders of the future will be human-centered, focused as much on growth and the bottom line as on creating a flourishing and sustainable culture. This book is a manual of success for leaders in any industry."
About the Author
Rasmus Hougaard is the Founder and Managing Director of Potential Project, the global leading provider of leadership and organizational effectiveness solutions based on training the mind. Rasmus has practiced and taught mindfulness for more than two decades. Jacqueline Carter is an International Partner and North American Director for Potential Project. She has over twenty years of experience working with organizations around the globe to enhance effectiveness and improve performance. Together, they are the authors of One Second Ahead: Enhance Your Performance at Work with Mindfulness.
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"Thankfully, the answer is no. It is actually possible to train the brain to respond differently to today's constant interruptions through the practice of mindfulness. Simply put, at its introductory level, mindfulness means trained attention. Based on thousands of practice, mindfulness techniques enable people to manage their attention, improve their awareness, and sharpen their focus and clarity."
And now in The Mind of the Leader, Hougaard and Carter note that in 2017, almost $50-billion was spent on leadership development and more than that will be spent this year. "That's a lot of money for seemingly little return. What's going wrong? In part, the system is broken...something more is needed: leadership that truly engages employees is truly hum, and addresses basic human needs any employee needs." Hougaard and Carter conducted research that involved more than thirty thousand leaders from thousands of companies in more than one hundred countries, conducted in-depth interviews with hundreds of C-suite executives, and reviewed the results oif thousands of studies on leadership in the fields of neuroscience, leadership, organizational development, and psychology.
"Based on this research, we have conclusively found that three mental qualities stand out as being foundational for leaders today: mindfulness (M), selflessness (S), and compassion (C). Together, we call these foundational skills MSC leadership." So those who lead and others who aspire to lead must first develop and then apply these three qualities to themselves, then to their people, and then to their organization.
As Hougaard and Carter explain, "Mindfulness refers to both a practice and a state of mind. The more you practice it, the more it becomes your state of mind...Selflessness is the wisdom of getting out of your own way, the way of your people, and the way of the organization to unleash the natural flow of energy that people bring to work. Selflessness combines strong self-confidence with a humble intention to be of service...Compassion is the quality if having positive intentions for others. It's the intention of being of service to other people's happiness and the desire to help alleviate their problems. It's the ability to understand others' perspectives and use that as a catalyst for supportive action."
These are among dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also shared to indicate the scope of Hougaard and Carter's coverage:
o Compassion (Pages 3-4, 8-9, ND 16-19)
o Self-confidence (13-16)
o Self-leadership (23-95)
o Happiness and meaning (37-42)
o Focus and executive function (48-49)
o Faculties of focus (49-54)
o Self-compassion and health (80-87)
o Unconscious biases (101-104)
o Understand Your People (101-114)
o Mindful leadership (115-126)
o Selfless leadership (!27-142)
o Grow Your People (133-134 and 136-138)
o Compassionate leadership (143-159)
o The People-Centered culture (165-170)
o Enable Organization Focus (175-179)
o Traits and Tips for a Selfless Culture (187-194)
As I continue to think about the foundational skills of MSC leadership -- Mindfulness, Selflessnss, and Compassion -- I am again reminded of this passage in Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:
“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”
To a much greater extent than ever before, all organizations need effective leadership at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. One challenge is to develop it or obtain it. Another is to retain it. And still another is to establish and then sustain a workplace culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive. These challenges are even more daunting now when changes are occurring faster and with greater frequency as well as impact. Keep in mind that some changes occur slowly and then suddenly have great impact. The personal computer is but one example of that.
Hougaard and Carter: "We have no neurological alarm system for slow change. When it comes to slow change, the normal fight-or-flight reaction of the amygdala draws a blank...We can start now by building more mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion in our organizations and societies, so that trust and social cohesion are in place when things become more challenging. That is the responsibility we all have, and especially those in positions of power. And it starts with our our own minds." These comments raise a question: "What did neuroscience reveal tio you about the mind oif effective or ineffective leaders?"
Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter's response to that question provides an appropriate conclusion to this brief commentary: "Our research revealed that effective leaders had greater mental agility, greater focus, greater capacity for complexity and more mind space for creativity and innovation. So on the positive side, studies have found that you can train your mind to be more calm, clear and focused and this has tremendous benefits for leaders.
"On the downside, recent studies have found that holding the power if leadership can damage our brains in a way that gradually disables our ability to empathize with others. The part of our brain that enables us to recognize and empathized with other people's emotions can be impaired as we rise up the leadership ranks and hold more power over others. This is a major issue because if we are not able to read the emotions of the people we lead we will not be able to engage or lead them effectively. Not being able to empathize can negatively impact other elements of our lives professionally and personally."
I congratulate them on The Mind of the Leader, a brilliant achievement. Bravo!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book, alas, was not pretty good. It was not good. It was awful. Here’s why I didn’t finish this awful book.
The authors stated their claims without supporting them. In the introduction, they say they worked with several colleagues and several companies “utilizing the practices of mindfulness.” They claim “The outcomes have been thoroughly researched and proven to deliver remarkable results.”
That’s great, but what was the research? What were the remarkable results? Work with clients is not research, it’s work with clients. If that work produces remarkable results those results can be the starting point for research.
Then the authors say they asked themselves what leaders need beyond mindfulness, and they surveyed and assessed over 30,000 leaders from thousands of companies and over 100 countries. They interviewed some leaders. And then they say this.
“Based on this research, we have conclusively found that three mental qualities stand out as being foundational.”
That’s a good statement of what they concluded, but it’s not a description of what they did and how they reached their conclusion. It’s sloppy and self-promotional.
The authors use common leadership terms in unconventional ways. They say internal drivers of intrinsic motivation are “meaningful engagement, connectedness, and feeling valued.” That ignores the work of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, who have been researching intrinsic motivation since the 1970s. According to their research, and other research supporting their Self-Determination Theory, key drivers of intrinsic motivation are autonomy, relatedness, and competence.
There’s no reason the authors of The Mind of a Leader have to agree with that. They can come up with something different. If you’re writing a business book where what you say conflicts with other, well-established, research you owe it your reader, to tell me how you differ and how you reached your conclusion.
Another example is their use of the term “flow.” According to the authors, “When you’re focused but on autopilot, your state of mind can be described as being in ‘flow.’”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the researcher who coined the term flow, defines flow as total absorption in what you’re doing. That’s very different from being on autopilot. Again, there’s no reason the authors can’t differ with Csikszentmihalyi. Just tell me why you differ.
Again and again, I got angry with the authors. Finally, I quit reading. If facts, research, and clear explanations of reasoning are important to you, skip this book