Mindful Leadership

Start harvesting the insights from my bachelor's thesis...

Jul 21
Mindful Leadership Cosima Laube

It's been some time I wrote about handing in my thesis and I promised to blog about it, right? Now that this topic is "done-done", feedback from university supervisor as well as grading is there, I can finally do so. Yay!

The thesis' topic was to create a systematic literature review on the broad area of Mindful Leadership. Today I will start sharing my abstract as a teaser [1]. As there are at least two (software) conference contributions to come in late 2017 and early 2018, I will blog & reflect more within the next months.
My goal is making some of the theoretical findings digestable and applicable in practical everyday life.

In order to cope with globalisation, digitisation and competition, our todays‘ working environments demand increasingly more from their employees and leaders. Hierarchical organisation structures get replaced by modern forms of organisation and leadership so that companies are able to react swiftly upon the increased complexity and volatility. It is more than obvious that the risen demands and increased uncertainty lead to increased stress for the individual.
Also expectation to the individuals‘ leadership abilities have changed: leadership is no longer an exclusive task of a few but leadership responsibility more and more gets distributed amongst self-managed organisational structures. There authenticity and servant leadership fills the gap which old-fashioned management styles caused with regard to personality development of each single individual. Meanwhile the concept of mindfulness which has its roots in buddhist philosophy also entered the stage of the working world. Thoroughly validated mindfulness trainings which have been successfully applied over decades to mainly treat people with mental disorders in clinical contexts now get applied to healthy people in organisational settings. In the very recent past, companies also introduced mindfulness trainings for their leaders. Still, what are the mechanisms of mindfulness in leadership and how does mindfulness exactly work? Which outcomes intra- and interindividually as well as organisationally does one get if leaders make use of mindfulness? What does it take to „train“ leaders in mindfulness?
The work at hand first showcases the relevant theoretical background of mindfulness and leadership before the mechanisms of mindfulness within the context of leadership are explained. Next the outcomes of mindful leaders are presented and possibilites as well as different streams of leadership training in the context of mindfulness are elaborated upon. The main direction is clearly evident: development of the leaders‘ identity and awareness is key – however empirically validated trainings tailored to their needs are still pending.

Want to get a copy?

Some people already asked for a copy of my work. I am happy to send it to you; just send me your mail address either by mail of via a DM on twitter.

There's only thing I am asking for in exchange: please let me know your thoughts and experiences after reading.
You can either do so by mailing me or even better: blog about it and share! Because sharing is caring.

A big "Thank you!"

A bunch of awesome people encouraged me during my writing months. Be it on twitter, via mail and of course also in real life.

You helped me through mental brain twists, loooong nights in front of literature databases... struggling with shitloads tons of material, surving in my flat covered with paper & post-its to structure everything... Sorting thesis stuff on paper

Thank you all so much for listening, encouraging & taking part in that phase of my life!
You know who you are. <3

[1] The thesis itself if written in German whereas most of the literature it is based on is in English, so you might be able to benefit from that as well if you have a basic understanding of German.

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Thank you Sacha for your kind feedback and the kudos. Encourages me even more to work on these topics (like I already started with my first official conference talk for OOP2018 on that).
Written on Sun, 25 Mar 2018 18:08:51 by Cosima
Sehr geehrte Frau Laube, im Rahmen meines Studiums ist auch das Thema Führungslehre von Bedeutung. In diesem Zusammenhang möchte ich einen Einblick in die Thematik Mindful Leadearship bekommen und bin bei der Recherche auf Ihren Beitrag gestoßen. Sehr gern würde ich einen Einblick in Ihre Arbeit nehmen und würde mich über eine Übersendung eines digitalen Exemplars sehr freuen. Ich danke im Voraus und verbleibe mit freundlichen Grüßen aus Münster.
Written on Tue, 13 Mar 2018 14:38:51 by Alexander
I just went over the copy you sent me, thanks a lot. It is HIGHLY interesting! I hope that you will continue your work on that topic and illustrate viable pathways to {mindful,servant,agile} leadership... #kudos
Written on Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:55:07 by Sacha