“CEOs have stressful jobs, and some have taken to intense hobbies to find solace from the daily grind”, reports Jhaneel Lockhart in Business Insider magazine.
“Some practise meditation – or even Transcendental Meditation, a mantra-based technique derived about 50 years ago from ancient Indian practices.
“We’ve compiled a list of leaders who say that meditating gives an edge in the competitive business world. Some have even built it into their company’s culture.”
Those listed include:
Tupperware CEO, Rick Goings, meditates daily to refocus. Goings told The Financial Times that he tries to meditate for at least 20 minutes every afternoon.
Russell Simmons, the founder of the record label Def Jam, which has launched the careers of Rihanna Jay-Z and Kanye West, has practised Transcendental Meditation for four years and says regular practice of the technique has changed his life.
Ramani Ayer, for almost 20 years the Chairman and CEO of The Hartford Financial Services Group, a multibillion-dollar insurance company, says TM makes him a better decision-maker. Ayer has been practicing for more than 25 years, and says it has been ideally suited to his hectic life .
Steve Rubin, former Chief Executive and chairman of United Fuels International, says practicing TM gives him a ‘competitive advantage’ in the business world.
“I have the mental clarity and alertness for both laser-like focus on the details and for broad comprehension,” he said.
Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz practices Transcendental Meditation for 20 minutes every morning, retreating into a “semiconscious state”
Berkowitz told Inc. Magazine the ritual is an important part of his day.
“The first thing I do in the morning is retreat to my den and meditate,” he said. “Sometimes, I’m wrestling with an issue before meditation, and afterward the answer could stop is suddenly clear.
Bill George, a Harvard professor and former CEO of Medtronic, the world’s largest medical technology company, is one of many business leaders who has introduced his staff to meditation. He dedicated one of his conference rooms at Medtronic’s Minnesota HQ as a quiet space where employees could take a break.
In an article on his website, Bill George describes Transcendental Meditation as one of the devices he uses to improve his decision-making and people skills and deal with stress. He took it up in 1975 and still practices it for 20 minutes twice a day.
Former Monsanto CEO Bob Shapiro similarly turned office rooms into meditation spaces. He has meditated since his Harvard University days.
“As a business person, I noticed a number of people I knew pretty well who really picked up on it, people who perhaps had come into it with some degree of skepticism and found the experience useful,” he said.
Executive Management Associates CEO Nancy Slomowitz reduced her company’s health care insurance costs by offering Transcendental Meditation classes to her employees
Slomowitz, who recently wrote “Work Zone Madness: Surviving and Rising Above Workplace Dysfunction,” has been practicing TM since she was a teenager, and decided to introduce the practice to her employees.
“TM produced tangible, practical benefits in both their professional and personal lives. The workplace environment soon grew from toxic to harmonious among other positive changes” she says.
Oprah Winfrey meditates twice daily with all her staff members at Harpo studios. In a recent TV interview she said that Transcendental Meditation had transformed her and her staff’s lives.
Marnie Abramson, who owns Tower Companies real estate firm, says offering TM courses for employees is the best way to increase productivity
“I would say that arranging a TM course for your employees is probably the fastest, easiest, and least expensive way of getting more out of your workers than you could ever imagine,” says Abramson.
Other leading executives listed in the Business Insider article include Mark Benioff of salesforce.com, who practises mindfulness meditation, and Andrew Cherng of Panda Express.