— September 15, 2014
Dan Harris of ABC News shares his story with MBAs at launch of NYU Stern’s Mindfulness in Business Initiative
Harris began his talk reflecting on a panic attack that he experienced during a live broadcast of “Good Morning America.” As fate would have it, Harris was assigned to the “faith and spirituality” beat at ABC News soon after the episode, and found himself somewhat reluctantly researching the areas. After reading work from several spiritual gurus, including Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Mark Epstein, one notion in particular – the “voice in the head,” as Tolle referred to it, or the “monkey mind,” as Epstein called it – resonated with him.
Add that to an avalanche of new scientific research indicating that meditation and mindfulness practices have real benefits – better focus, increased productivity and more – and Harris was convinced to give it a chance.
Now a self-proclaimed evangelist for mindfulness meditation, Harris argues that a regular practice (even just five minutes a day) offers a game-changing proposition – the ability to recognize what’s going on in your own mind without reacting blindly but instead responding wisely. He goes on to call it a “super power,” listing a number of organizations, industries and individuals who have fully embraced the benefits of meditation, including General Mills, P&G, Google, Aetna, the Marines, Katy Perry, 50 Cent, Silicon Valley, Wall Street and the Seahawks.
“The Stern School believes in the tremendous potential of individuals to solve global problems through the power of business,” wrote Caitlin Weaver, director of leadership development at Stern, and Yael Shy, senior director of NYU Global Spiritual Life, in a recent article for The Huffington Post. “As business students trained in mindfulness move into leadership positions, they will bring with them a new paradigm for leadership excellence that drives business results while focusing on compassion, self-awareness, courage and resilience personally, interpersonally and organizationally.”
The Mindfulness in Business Initiative is funded by a grant from the Lenz Foundation.