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The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by Jon Kabat Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is now a global phenomenon with programs running in every continent. Mindfulness studies conducted from the school’s Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and involving over 20,000 patients, have created a foundation of empirical research that documents the benefits of mindfulness for healing and well-being and for dealing with anxiety, chronic illness and pain. Participants in the...
Last week I attended the 15th Annual International Leadership Association Global Conference in Montreal. The conference theme was Leadership for Local and Global Resilience, recognizing the need for leaders to innovate and lead sustainable change in our local and global communities and organizations. This academic conference brought together students, faculty, consultants, coaches, and just a few organizational leaders to explore and advance new theories and approaches to leadership. There is plenty being written today about the need for...
In all the books and research papers on systems thinking that I have read, I don't think I have yet found the word courage as part of the language used. There is a lot written about systems thinking in terms of it's relevance and importance, it's theories and methodologies, but nothing about what it takes--emotionally. And I'm convinced: systems thinking not only requires skill, it also takes courage. I was invited as a keynote speaker to the 9th Brazilian Congress of Systems in Palmas, Brazil. My colleague, Raul Espejo, was...
I love Cheryl Sandberg--her incredible presence, her role as adult supervisor to a difficult tech leader, her social commitment and philanthropy, her role as a parent and spouse, and her new book, Lean In. But I also felt a bit uncomfortable when I read it. I liked and shared her positive emphasis on empowering yourself, and her assumption that personal skills help you make your way at work. I teach the same skills and encourage people to use them, and I see many people who diminish themselves and do not stand up for who they are. ...
A recent article by Bruce Schneier, author of the book Liars and Outliers, is titled “The Battle for Power on the Internet.” As he introduces the problem: “We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers, and criminals” (par. 1).  It is certainly a familiar theme...

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