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"Moments of Waking Up": A Doorway to Mindfulness and Presence

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Journal of Management Inquiry

Published online on


The context for this article and the research project that it describes is the potential importance of being awake and present for leaders. This 2-year collaborative action research project was designed to explore whether simply intending to be present could make a difference in participants’ quality of experience at work and also to find out whether this would impact people with whom they worked. The study included a phenomenological analysis of contemporaneous notes taken several times a week for 4 weeks by two groups of 12-15 people from North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. The study also explored the possibility that this approach to mindfulness might be useful for leadership development and education on a broad scale. The results suggest that sustaining ongoing awareness practices supports leaders in attaining the steadiness and flexibility needed for addressing the adaptive problems of our world.