Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Are You a Mindful Leader?

At Soundview Executive Book Summaries, we spend a healthy portion of our time reading and writing about leadership books. I came across a great article from the Financial Post about the need for mindful leaders in the workplace. Ray Williams, author of the Financial Post piece, cites clinician Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness. He describes it as, “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” Kabat-Zinn argues that the modern workplace screams along at such an incredible pace that leaders are often mentally and physically overtaxed. This impacts the executive’s decision-making abilities and reduces his or her effectiveness in the long-term.

What is of interest to Soundview is that Kabat-Zinn cites two books which we’ve previously recommended to leaders. The first of these books is Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman. In this book, Goleman and his co-authors describe the competencies of Emotional Intelligence that can help leaders create a more unified, productive work force. This book is a great read because it combines great advice to help a leader improve him- or herself while also giving tips to strengthen the organization as a whole.

The other book Kabat-Zinn references is Resonant Leadership. This title is written by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Goleman’s co-authors on Primal Leadership. As the subtitle indicates, the book helps executives renew themselves and connect with others through mindfulness, hope and compassion. While there are certainly traditional leaders who may view the subject matter as an unnecessary lesson in “soft skills,” more and more books are being written about the importance of a leader’s ability to connect and inspire his or her employees.

To get your copy of Primal Leadership or Resonant Leadership, visit Soundview online at


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