• Casper Oelofsen

5 Must read books for mindful leaders

Being a mindful leader requires you to have a drive to learn, a willingness to adapt to disruptive environments and an intuitive awareness that will help you lead in a positive and inspirational manner. Below are five books that I would highly recommend.


Links to all these books can be found on the Mindful Leadership website https://www.mindfulleadership.co.za/libr


1. Focus: The Hidden Driver Of Excellence – Daniel Goleman


In Focus, psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long-overdue discussion of this little-noticed and underrated mental asset that matters enormously for how we navigate life.


Attention works much like a muscle: use it poorly and it can wither; work it well and it grows. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to contend with, let alone thrive in, a complex world. Goleman analyzes attention research as a threesome: inner, other, and outer focus. He shows why high-performers need all three kinds of focus, as demonstrated by rich case studies from fields as diverse as competitive sports, education, the arts, and business. Those who excel rely on what Goleman calls smart practice that helps them improve habits, add new skills, and sustain excellence.


Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus reveals what distinguishes experts from amateurs and stars from average performers.


2. Thriving in Mind – Dr. Katherine Benziger PhD


This is the Revised Edition of the best, most comprehensive book on applied neuro-science. It includes the Appendices which were originally in the 1st edition and contained very important, additional information. These Appendices are now included in the book for the first time in twenty years. A new Introduction explains the relationship of this work to Maslow and Maslow's hierarchy. Also, this Revised Edition has been carefully corrected to eliminate the content errors of last year's edition.




3. Destructive Emotions – Daniel Goleman


Buddhist philosophy tells us that all personal unhappiness and interpersonal conflict lie in the "three poisons": craving, anger, and delusion. It also provides antidotes of astonishing psychological sophistication - which are now being confirmed by modern neuroscience. With new high-tech devices, scientists can peer inside the brain centers that calm the inner storms of rage and fear. They also can demonstrate that awareness-training strategies such as meditation strengthen emotional stability - and greatly enhance our positive moods.


The distinguished panel members report these recent findings and debate an exhilarating range of other topics: What role do destructive emotions play in human evolution? Are they "hardwired" in our bodies? Are they universal, or does culture determine how we feel? How can we nurture the compassion that is also our birthright? We learn how practices that reduce negativity have also been shown to bolster the immune system. Here, too, is an enlightened proposal for a school-based program of social and emotional learning that can help our children increase self-awareness, manage their anger, and become more empathetic.


Throughout, these provocative ideas are brought to life by the play of personalities, by the Dalai Lama's probing questions, and by his surprising sense of humor. Although there are no easy answers, these dialogues, which are part of a series sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute, chart an ultimately hopeful course. They are sure to spark discussion among educators, religious and political leaders, parents - and all people who seek peace for themselves and the world.


4. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life – Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander


Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander's experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander's genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment. The authors' harmoniously interwoven perspectives provide a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of life. Through uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes, the Zanders invite us to become passionate communicators, leaders, and performers whose lives radiate possibility into the world.


5. Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle


Much more than simple principles and platitudes, the book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light.

In the first chapter, Tolle introduces readers to enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present. The journey is thrilling, and along the way, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, "the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death."

Featuring a new preface by the author, this paperback shows that only after regaining awareness of Being, liberated from Mind and intensely in the Now, is there Enlightenment.



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