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The Mindfulness Edge: How to Rewire Your Brain for Leadership and Personal Excellence Without Adding to Your Schedule

ISBN: 978-1-119-18318-1
288 pages
March 2016
The Mindfulness Edge: How to Rewire Your Brain for Leadership and Personal Excellence Without Adding to Your Schedule (1119183189) cover image

Description

The one habit that can improve almost every leadership skill

There is a simple practice that can improve nearly every component of leadership excellence and it doesn't require adding anything to your busy schedule. In The Mindfulness Edge, you'll discover how a subtle inner shift, called mindfulness, can transform things that you already do every day into opportunities to become a better leader. Author Matt Tenney has trained leaders around the world in the practice of mindfulness. In this book, he partners with neuroscientist Tim Gard, PhD, to offer step-by-step, practical guidance for quickly and seamlessly integrating mindfulness training into your daily life—rewiring your brain in ways that improve both the ‘hard' and ‘soft' skills of leadership.

In this book, you'll learn how mindfulness training helps you:

  • Quickly improve business acumen and your impact on the bottom line
  • Become more innovative and attract/retain innovative team members
  • Develop the emotional intelligence essential for creating and sustaining a winning culture
  • Realize the extraordinary leadership presence that inspires greatness in others

The authors make a compelling case for why mindfulness training may be the 'ultimate success habit.' In addition to helping you improve the most essential elements of highly effective leadership, mindfulness training can help you discover unconditional happiness and realize incredible meaning—professionally and personally.

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Table of Contents

PREFACE A NOTE ON BEST ENJOYING THIS BOOK xvii

INTRODUCTION xix

Everything Begins in the Mind xx

You Can Rewire Your Brain for Leadership and Personal Excellence xxi

What You’ll Find in This Book xxiii

Part 1 How Mindfulness Training Rewires the Brain for Leadership Excellence 1

Chapter 1 The Shift That Changes Everything 3

Beginner’s Mind 6

The Attitude of a Beginner Is Essential 7

The Shift That Changes Everything 14

Changing Our Default 19

Review Questions 22

Chapter 2 Making an Immediate and Direct Impact on the Bottom Line 23

How We Unconsciously Affect Gross Margins and Expenses 25

Uncovering Our Cognitive Biases 27

The Illusion of Control Bias 27

The Status Quo Bias 29

The Logic Bias 30

The Reaction Time Bias 31

Mindful Self-Awareness and Better Decisions 32

Mental Agility 36

Freedom from Autopilot Mode 36

A Persistent Beginner’s Mind 40

Doing What’s Uncomfortable 41

Quick Impact and Great Potential 42

Review Questions 42

Chapter 3 Organizational Climate Change 44

The Power of a Positive Emotional Climate 45

The Leader Drives the Emotions of the Team 46

The Emotionally Intelligent Leader 47

A More Emotionally Intelligent Brain 51

A Training Regimen for Emotional Intelligence 54

A Human Approach 55

Review Questions 57

Chapter 4 Fueling the Fire of Innovation 59

The Archetype of an Innovator 62

Resilience in the Face of Opposition 63

Empathy 66

Empathetic Design 68

Review Questions 69

Chapter 5 Developing Extraordinary Leadership Presence 70

Staying Cool under Pressure 72

Fearlessness 75

The Most Important Aspect of Leadership Presence 77

Review Questions 81

Chapter 6 Why Mindfulness Is the Ultimate Success Habit 82

Two Life-Changing Discoveries 83

The Power of Serving Others 84

Unconditional Happiness 85

The Study of Happiness 86

Happiness Is Good for Business 87

Happiness Is Predetermined, Kind of (But You Can Change That) 88

The Ultimate Success Habit 91

Review Questions 93

Part 2 Developing the Ultimate Success Habit 95

Chapter 7 The Perfection of the Present Moment 97

Beginning to Practice in Daily Life 100

The Brain Is a Habitual Machine 103

The First Step to Unconditional Happiness 104

A Win-Win-Win Paradigm Shift 108

Review Questions 111

Chapter 8 The Power of Sitting Still 112

Seamlessly Integrating the Training into Daily Life 114

A Beginner’s Guide to Sitting Still in Mindfulness 117

An Intermediate-Level Guide to Sitting Still in Mindfulness 121

Spilling over into Activity 124

Review Questions 124

Chapter 9 From 4 Hours to 4 Minutes: Mastering Emotions for Optimal Performance 125

Returning to Cool: From 4 Hours to 4 Minutes 128

Mindfulness of Emotions: SCIL 130

A Ride on the River of Emotions 139

Review Questions 139

Chapter 10 The Wisdom of True Excellence 141

Things Aren’t as They Seem 142

An Incredible Discovery 145

You’re Not What You Think 146

Wisdom versus Knowledge 150

The Interplay between Stable Awareness and Wisdom 151

Review Questions 152

Chapter 11 Extraordinary Leadership Presence and the Final Piece of the Puzzle of Unconditional Happiness 153

Pain Is Inevitable; Suffering Is Optional 155

A Taste of Liberation 158

More Fully Enjoying What’s Pleasant 160

That Darn Wisdom Again 163

The Root Cause of Suffering 163

Review Questions 165

Chapter 12 Advanced-Level Training 166

The Best Movie Ever 167

Brutal, Compassionate Honesty 169

Investigation of Phenomena 170

Fearlessness 172

Managing Change 173

Seeing Opportunities No One Else Sees 174

Just Listening 175

The Power of Doing Nothing 176

Review Questions 177

Chapter 13 The Foundations of Wisdom: Physical Training for Character 178

The Foundations of Wisdom 180

Foundation of Wisdom 1—Integrity 181

Foundation of Wisdom 2—Skillful Communication 182

Speak in Ways That Are Helpful 183

Refrain from Offering Opinions Unless Asked to Do So or It Is Absolutely Necessary 184

Be Mindful while Using Electronic Devices 184

Conflict Management 185

The Power of Empathy 189

Foundation of Wisdom 3—Wise Consumption 191

Foundation of Wisdom 4—Generosity 194

Foundation of Wisdom 5—Kindness 195

Respect the Belongings of Others 195

Be Kind to All Conscious Beings 196

Exercises in Kindness 197

Your Personal Core Values 198

Review Questions 198

Chapter 14 Discovering Incredible Meaning at Work and in Your Time away from Work 201

A Purposeful Paradigm Shift 202

Saving the World on Your Way to the Bathroom 206

Review Questions 208

AFTERWORD 209

APPENDIX INTRODUCTION TO NEUROSCIENCE 210

How We Study the Brain 210

What Can We See in the Brain? 211

NOTES AND RESOURCES 215

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 249

ABOUT THE AUTHORS 252

INDEX 255

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Author Information

MATT TENNEY works to develop highly effective leaders who achieve extraordinary, long-term business outcomes—and live more fulfilling lives—as a result of realizing high levels of self-mastery and more effectively serving and inspiring greatness in the people around them. He is an international keynote speaker, a corporate trainer, and the author of Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom. He has been teaching mindfulness since 2002. Matt's clients include Wells Fargo, Marriott, Keller Williams, The Four Seasons, and many other companies, associations, and universities.

TIM GARD, PHD, is a neuroscientist, keynote speaker, and mindfulness trainer. His research focuses on the neural and psychological mechanisms of mindfulness in a variety of contexts. Tim is affiliated with the Lazar lab for neuroscience of mindfulness research at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

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Press Release

January 29, 2016
The Mindfulness Edge

Mindfulness training can help you improve the most essential elements of highly effective leadership, help you discover unconditional happiness, and realize incredible meaning—professionally and personally.

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