In 2007 Chade-Meng Tan – Google employee #107 — launched Google’s meditation programme. The programme currently teaches 2,000 Googlers per year to meditate in order to become better leaders. Today, leading companies like Blackrock, Aetna, Ford Motor and Goldman Sachs conduct mindfulness classes for thousands of their leaders.
What is causing this shift to mindful leadership? In the stress-filled 24/7 world in which we live, leaders of all organizations need the opportunity for a “time out” period. It is their opportunity to relax, breathe deeply, de-stress and gain clarity about their work and the decisions they are facing.
Mindfulness practices enable leaders to ensure that the important issues are taking precedence over immediate pressures. Recent clinical studies are demonstrating that mindfulness not only reduces stress, but also improves productivity and reduces health care costs.
What is essential is having a daily practice of taking twenty minutes to quiet your mind, reflect and be introspective. For you, it may come through reflecting in a beautiful place or taking a long walk or jog. The goal? To create more self-aware leaders who understand themselves, their motivations, their values, and the purpose of their leadership.
Innovative Approach to Leadership Development From Call of the Wild
As an organisation based in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, Call of the Wild has always believed in the potential of using this renowned landscape as a vehicle for the development of leadership and management skills.
Over the past 20+ years we have evaluated the effect of this landscape on the learning experience of the clients we bring into the area. Almost universally the evidence has been that the most beneficial aspect of the experience was the opportunity that the environment provides for “deep reflection and meaning making”
The Green Classroom
We have taken this approach and developed a innovative and unique “green classroom” approach to learning.
Utilising the dramatic landscape of the Brecon Beacons we place the delegate at the heat of his and her learning, creating a place and a space for deep reflection on the practice and application of leadership. This outdoor environment offers a diverse and rich source of natural experiences and metaphor, which the delegates are encouraged to contextualise within their personal experience of leadership.
The point is that the imagery and metaphor created from immersion in this inspirational landscape begins to create new ways of thinking and looking at the issues surrounding Leadership. This new learning is more likely to be taken back into the workplace and applied.
Our Green Classroom
If you want to see what our green classroom looks like here’s a short video showing our training centre and the surrounding landscape of the Brecon Beacons