Research

I spent several years researching the role mindfulness plays in leadership performance. What I was most interested in was equipping leaders with practical tools that they could apply anywhere, even during intense stressful periods. The outcome of my research was profound (should you like to read my thesis, you can do so HERE).
 
What I learned was that to perform at ones best requires far more than head smarts. It takes all of a person, and a deep understanding of their embodied experience, and in turn how to manage what is happening on the inside to achieve optimal results.

While my research subjects were leaders from various organisations, the outcome of my research was universal. No matter who I have worked with from that day, be that with special force military operators to airline cabin crew, or managers and executives on the front line of organisational success, the message is clear:

Your inner state, and how well you manage what is happneing on the inside in moments of crucial performance, is what will dictate your fate

What I learned, and what I know from my own personal life growing up poor on the South Side of Johannesburg, is that no matter what you think you know, all can come crashing down, if you are unable to manage and align your thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions with what you most desire.

As such, my work both on myself, and with those I coach, is to discover the true potential of our body’s natural intelligence, by leveraging our innate mechanisms for personal success. 

Research Synopsis

The aim of this research is to explore mindfulness-in-action in moments of
leadership performance and the degree to which it may enhance leadership
excellence. To this end, this research answers two interrelated research
questions.

Firstly, what are the embodied experiences described by leaders that arise in the
present moment of leadership and which they feel may hinder their ability to lead
successfully? This question is explored through the analysis of a series of
interviews with research participants.

As an extension to my first research question, a group of leaders from various
organisations were then taught mindfulness in an action-oriented way by means
of a bespoke workshop that focused on utilising martial arts-based movements
to teach the concept of mindfulness.

My second research question explores to what extent mindfulness taught in an
experiential, action-oriented way aids leaders in managing their leadership
difficulties. Here the focus shifts to the leadership difficulties my research
participants had previously described (i.e. in Research Question 1), as well as
how, as leaders, they defined leadership before and after mindfulness-in-action
training. The outcome of the research, via the analysis of interviews, was
bolstered further by exploring participants’ trait or dispositional mindfulness
through applying the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale both before and at two
additional time points after the training.

Overall, the analysis and findings of this research show that it is indeed possible
to design and implement a training approach to mindfulness that is both
experientially and action oriented, and which in turn has positive effects on
moments of leadership performance. This research thus adds valuable insight in
understanding leadership, learning and mindfulness, explored through moments
of leadership performance.

Scroll to Top