The Gift of Being Present: Unwrapping Mindfulness in Leadership



Campbell, Alec

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Over the past two decades, mindfulness has received considerable attention in the organizational sciences, and researchers have even begun examining how a leader’s mindfulness may manifest interpersonally to benefit those around them. However, these studies have conceptualized and measured mindfulness from a unidimensional perspective, leaving a potential gap in the literature regarding which dimensions of mindfulness are more or less important for interindividual outcomes. The two studies presented in this paper sought to build on previous findings by evaluating mindfulness from a multidimensional lens. The first study involved a cross-sectional survey (n=306) designed to examine the factor structure of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and evaluate the relationship between supervisor mindfulness and direct report performance. The factor structure of the FFMQ was confirmed; however, results suggested that neither aggregate supervisor mindfulness nor the individual dimensions significantly predicted performance of their direct reports. In the second study, survey data was collected from a sample of supervisors (n=92). The factor structure identified in the first study was used to predict direct report performance as well as organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Findings were consistent with the first study in that overall supervisor mindfulness did not predict either outcome; however, one dimension of the FFMQ was found as a significant predictor of both overall performance and OCB. Potential implications and limitations are discussed.



Mindfulness, Leadership, Performance, Leader mindfulness, Employee performance