As a leader, you work to get results.
You worry about targets, quarters, attracting talent... and you feel a constant pressure to grow. But sometimes you focus so much on these end goals that you don’t pay attention to your journey.
The result? You feel out of touch and dragged along.
It’s only when you face problems in your team, or productivity takes a nose-dive that you peer over the balance sheets and realize you’re not where you wanted to be.
What’s more, we’re living at a particular point in time that’s fraught with new challenges due to the pandemic. More than ever, leaders are required to know how to skillfully manage fluid situations, while continuing to motivate and support their teams, especially those that may struggling to adapt to and keep up with remote work and endless Zoom meetings.
People and connections and relationships matter.
Yet it’s easy to get caught up in a culture of management “hacks” and quick fixes and dismiss “well-being” as free-snacks Friday and some quiet time in a back-office wearing yoga pants.
Only it’s so much more than that. Mindful leaders are more successful, less stressed, and more connected to their purpose, and you know you can be too.
You can be the kind of leader who...
Cultivates productivity through authentic relationships
Communicates what matters and brings people with them
Builds alignment within their teams
Brings out the best in themselves and others
But how do you get there?
Learn the Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader with me, drawing on my experience working as a mindfulness teacher, CEO, executive coach, and emotional intelligence advisor to Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and some of the world’s highest-level business leaders.
- Use the tools of mindfulness to develop emotional intelligence so you can be more purposeful, present, and empathetic in your workplace.
- Embrace ways to adapt to the challenges faced by leaders and employees alike during the pandemic.
"Workplace star performers score 53% higher in emotional intelligence than average-performing employees."
"When 300,000 leaders, managers and employees identified the skills that had the greatest impact on their success, 6 out of the top 8 were related to emotional intelligence… only 2 were related to IQ."
"Emotional intelligence accounts for 90% of why some people succeed over others who have similar IQ and technical skill."
A large meta-analysis shows that IQ-related factors don’t contribute to a person’s happiness and well-being, whereas emotional intelligence traits – e.g. gratitude and optimism – matter a lot.
In summary, leaders with high emotional intelligence (EI) are happier, more successful, and better at their jobs.
The Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader are your roadmap to developed EI.
I’ve used these seven practices to successfully navigate being CEO to three companies and have helped my clients embrace and enjoy the challenges of leadership.
Now, I know what you’re thinking... “but I’m not a billionaire CEO and my business isn’t Google”... Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from decades of contemplative practice, it’s that it doesn’t matter.
Allow me to tell you a story.
As a college freshman, I was assigned the book – Toward a Psychology of Being - by Abraham Maslow.
Those 320 pages opened my eyes to how connected, open, and purposeful I could be in my everyday life… and it was a huge contrast to how asleep I felt at that time.
Once I acknowledged that feeling, I had to grab it with both hands and see where it could lead.
So, I went from college to the San Francisco Zen Center where, over the next decade, I “did the work” of mindfulness that the Zen tradition teaches.
By “work” I don’t mean sitting on my own in a pebbled garden repeating mantras. I mean applying mindfulness principles to every aspect of my life, from the Monastery kitchen to marriage and family, to teaching mindfulness in corporate settings.
And even though my wife still finds it hilarious that I teach emotional intelligence, I’ve used these skills to live a life with purpose. One where I co-created the Search Inside Yourself emotional intelligence program at Google, ran successful businesses, and coached some of the world’s most prominent business leaders.
Now, I want to share those same skills with you.
Not because your idea of “success” is the same as mine. But because I know I’m not the only one who’s felt like they’re floating through life asleep...
I want you to feel the same sense of purpose, openness, and connectedness that I gained through studying and embodying these mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and leadership practices.
But, you should know...
… and come to understand their basis in the “3 minds” – Joyful Mind, Grandmother Mind, and Wise Mind – introduced by Dogen, the founder of Zen in Japan.
Love the work - embrace self-awareness and help others
Do the work - of mindfulness and meditation
Don’t be an expert - cultivate a beginner’s mind, let go of being right
Connect to your pain - don’t avoid what is difficult
Connect to the pain of others - connect deeply with others
Depend on others - don’t overemphasize self-reliance
Keep making it simpler - let go of what is extra
"Marc’s deep wisdom, practical knowledge, and love for mindfulness applied in profound and yet practical ways shines through."
"Marc brings ancient Zen wisdom into our modern-day boardroom. The practices he introduces provide a clear pathway towards bringing more of our best human selves into our day to day leadership."
"Amazing” is a word that is so overused, it loses its value. But the "Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader" workshop at LinkedIn was truly that: amazing. I’m always looking for ways to become a better leader, a more empathic listener, and the kind of person who walks through the world with appreciation. Marc Lesser provided practical ways to do all that in a fun and engaging environment."
"For leaders of organizations large or small, Marc Lesser offers a wise and practical approach for fostering a healthy, dignified workplace and inspiring the very best in others."
"Marc is a skilled facilitator and speaker who uses storytelling, humility and humor to connect with participants while cultivating self-awareness, mindfulness and leadership skills. He is one of the most authentic and thoughtful people I’ve had the pleasure of working with."
"A lifetime of experience in both business and spiritual practice environments has afforded Marc Lesser a deft way of explaining how and why living with more heart promotes effective leadership."
I don’t want you to be held back by a feeling that mindfulness is not for you.
Too many people hear great things about EI research and think “it sounds great, but I’m just not that kind of person.”
And I get it!
Even though I’ve practiced mindful leadership for two decades, I still struggle to bring the two worlds together from time to time.
I’ve walked up to packed conference halls and thought to myself...
“Am I showing up as a business person or am I showing up as a mindfulness teacher?”
“Should I look like the business guy or should I look like the Zen guy?”
But, here’s the thing.
Your work life is just life. We spend 80,000 hours of our lives at work. So, it should be meaningful. It should make us feel satisfied and fulfilled… at least as much as our personal lives.
And the research couldn’t be more clear that mindfulness builds EI and EI makes better leaders.
Faces difficult situations with confidence
Casts aside doubts, negativity and conflict
Cultivates positivity and a present mind
Feels a deep sense of purpose
Unites others around a common goal
“I've engaged numerous courses and trainings, many of which crossover in content, but I really appreciate the simple elegance of Marc's approach and his depth of understanding.”
“I really enjoyed Marc's voice, approach, stories, and knowledge on the subject. He's got a fantastic online presence - thank you for cultivating a great online learning space!”
“I originally wanted to take this course to connect with my team better and I was REALLY here to connect with myself better. Marc facilitated getting me back to my meditation space, answered my questions, and challenged me to look at myself as getting in my own way. Thank you, Marc!”
"I feel less intimidated by meditation. I also feel more confident in trusting my gut when making leadership decisions because of this course."
He was the Director of Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center – the first Zen monastery in the Western world – and one of the architects behind Google’s world-renowned Search Inside Yourself program. He’s also co-founder of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.
He shares his experience as a CEO of successful enterprises and 10-year resident at the San Francisco Zen Center through in-person workshops, one-on-one coaching, and his 4 books on business and mindfulness.
Join Marc Lesser in the Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader now.
How long are the live sessions?
Each live session is about 90 minutes long, and will include a guided meditation, teaching, breakouts with other students, and Q&A. Marc will also be available to answer questions for anyone that wishes to stay longer.
When are the live sessions?
The live sessions are happening on:
Tuesday, April 20 at 4pm Pacific Time (check your local time here.)
Tuesday, April 27 at 4pm Pacific Time (check your local time here.)
Tuesday, May 4 at 4pm Pacific Time (check your local time here.)
Tuesday, May 11 at 4pm Pacific Time (check your local time here.)
Reminders of an upcoming live event will be sent every Monday. If you're unable to make a live session, they will be recorded and archived within the course so you can access anytime.
What is the weekly agenda?
Week 1 - Introduction and Investigation: Appreciate Your Life, Love the Work, Week 2 - Deepening Investigation: Do the Work, Don’t be an Expert + Bonus for 2021: Wholeheartedness as an Antidote to Burnout Week 3 - Connecting: Connect to Your Pain, Connect to the Pain of Others, Depend on Others + Bonus for 2021: Working Effectively with Remote Teams Week 4 - Integrating: Keep Making it Simpler, Practices for Integrating Mindfulness Into Daily Life, Finding Your True Power
Do I receive the Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader book as part of the course?
The book is not provided with the course but it is highly recommended that you pick up a copy. If ordering on Amazon, it typically ships immediately and is currently on sale. The Kindle eBook would also be available to read instantly if you wanted to get a head start! Reading the book while taking the course would be an optimal experience as well!
Do I need any special technology to participate?
You will need access to a high-speed internet connection (at least 5mbps download speed to stream the sessions), and a device or computer with an internet browser.
Live sessions will be hosted on Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom before, you’ll need to download the Zoom app, which you’ll find at https://zoom.us/download.
Do you offer group or buddy discounts?
Yes, we offer a 15% group discounts for groups of 3 or more! If you have a group that would like to take the course, please email us with the full names and email addresses of the group, along with an email address where we can send an invoice.
Do you offer a certificate of completion?
Yes, we offer a Certificate of Completion for all participants that complete the course! This will be sent within a few days of the course completion date.
What if I need to cancel?
If you find that you can no longer participate in the course, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll process your cancellation and refund within 2 business days.