5

If You Aspire to Be a Great Leader, Be Present

By Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter

Some years ago, we worked with a director of a multinational pharma company who’d been receiving poor grades for engagement and leadership effectiveness. Although he tried to change, nothing seemed to work. As his frustration grew, he started tracking the time he spent with each of his direct reports—and every time he received bad feedback, he pulled out his data and exclaimed, “But look how much time I spend with everyone!”

Things improved when he began a daily 10- minute mindfulness practice. After a couple of months, people found him more engaging, nicer to work with, and more inspiring. He was surprised and elated by the results. The real surprise? When ...

Get Mindful Listening (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series) now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.