Deconstructing the relationship between mindfulness and leader effectiveness

Matthew Lippincott (Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching and Training Programs, Paris, Texas, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 2 July 2018



Recent research implies that leader performance may be enhanced by mindfulness. The purpose of this paper is to present findings that help clarify the process of behavioral development that may be involved, as well as contributing to a better understanding of why leaders attribute improved effectiveness to mindfulness.


Data were collected through 42 modified behavioral-event interviews with senior organizational leaders from ten countries. Data analysis was performed using qualitative analysis techniques, and the emotional and social competency inventory (ESCI).


Mindfulness is perceived by practitioners as significantly influencing the development of behaviors, and changes to awareness, that they link to improved leadership effectiveness. Mindfulness is also perceived as enhancing cognitive function, and may contribute to the development of emotional intelligence competencies linked to increased leadership performance.

Practical implications

The results have potential implications for improving the efficacy of leadership development activities specifically through the incorporation of mindfulness and emotional intelligence training activities.


To the researcher’s knowledge, this is both the first qualitative study to conduct an in-depth analysis exploring the link between mindfulness and improvements in leader effectiveness, and also the first study to examine these relationships using the ESCI as a framework for analysis.



Lippincott, M. (2018), "Deconstructing the relationship between mindfulness and leader effectiveness", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 650-664.

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