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A Developmental Model for Educating Wise Leaders: The Role of Mindfulness and Habitus in Creating Time for Embodying Wisdom

Abstract

This article brings together mindfulness and habitus theory in relation to developing wise leaders. In particular, we present new insights about the intersection of time, subjective and intersubjective experience, and mindfulness that are relevant to developing embodied wisdom in leaders. We show that temporal competence is essential for shaping habitus and developing embodied wisdom. Further, and to extend theoretical understandings of mindfulness in leadership, we argue that temporal capabilities developed through mindfulness can foster embodied wisdom by creating a specific ‘wisdom habitus’ that includes values and ethics. The system of dispositions that comprise one’s habitus is, however, largely unconscious and implicit and we discuss how mindfulness renders habitus, including ethical conation accessible to development for the bodily ability to act wisely. This article then establishes a framework that leadership development programs in business schools can adopt for understanding habitus and mindfulness to enable embodied wisdom to develop in leaders. Finally, we show that a mindfulness perspective offers valuable contributions to research on leadership.

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Rooney, D., Küpers, W., Pauleen, D. et al. A Developmental Model for Educating Wise Leaders: The Role of Mindfulness and Habitus in Creating Time for Embodying Wisdom. J Bus Ethics 170, 181–194 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04335-0

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Leadership
  • Wisdom