Friday, August 8, 2014

Book Review: Finding the Space to Lead

Finding the Space to Lead:
 A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership

One of the phrases in Janice Marturano’s book, Finding the Space to Lead, speaks to the epidemic of multi-tasking or continuous partial attention that takes place during an American’s day at work or home. She writes that this habit can be exhausting and inefficient because the mind’s ability is limited and argues that we can develop the brain’s capabilities through daily meditation and purposeful pauses, in turn creating better leaders and thinkers. Early on in the book, she describes a business situation, involving food contamination in a major product, where employees used mindfulness techniques to develop consensus and offer a decision that employees would not welcome.

Marturano believes the engineering slogan, reduce the noise and capture the signal, summarizes the concept of mindfulness expressed in these terms: clarity, focus, creativity and compassion.  Her book serves as a blueprint for those who want to minimize stress, lead with empathy and regulate their reaction to unexpected events. The author, a lawyer and former General Mills vice president, guided the merger between Pillsbury and General Mills, an 18 month process.  During a retreat, she learned mindful leadership and found it gave her mental and emotional space to deal with the nonstop demands of the workplace.

Marturano, Janice. Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.
BF637 .L4 M287 2014