Leading in an Age of Distraction

What does it take to effectively lead a workforce that’s grown up in this world? It can begin with personally navigating a bombardment of choices. The leader sets the tone. IT professionals will learn by example—by the actions of their leaders—how to develop focus and to be mindful. Mindfulness programs in the workplace have taken hold in recent years out of necessity. A 2010 study pegged the cost to American businesses of workplace distractions at $650 billion; the cost has likely only gone up since. Among the earliest evangelists of mindfulness was Google engineer Chade-Meng Tan (Meng), who attributed his own unhappiness to a lack of focus at work and at home, and who consequently pursued mindfulness brain training to turn his emotional life around. Common sense tells us that if you can train your body to run a marathon, you can train your mind as well.

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