The Wheel of Mindfulness: a Generative Framework for Second-Generation Mindful Leadership


The field of mindfulness research and programs, in the workplace and elsewhere, has been a matter of considerable ambiguity and contestation. Distinguishing between first-generation and second-generation mindfulness-based initiatives has been a useful and positive response to this uncertainty and controversy. Second-generation mindfulness interventions in leadership are defined as going beyond views of mindfulness as a means to reduce the stress inherent in continual change, and as instrumental support for organizational performance in an economy of attention. The purpose of this paper is to build on this work in two ways. Firstly, it acknowledges the contribution of first-generation psychological-therapeutic programs. Secondly, it highlights the value of extending the range and depth of Buddhist-derived interventions beyond such programs and most importantly, also capturing and exploring the value of critical and collective approaches to mindfulness that derive from other traditions and schools of thought. In order to guide such a progression, this paper presents a Wheel of Mindfulness model that captures the different, and inevitably selective, lenses on mindfulness, and provides a generative framework for exploring and building on sources of controversy and debate.

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King, E., Badham, R. The Wheel of Mindfulness: a Generative Framework for Second-Generation Mindful Leadership. Mindfulness 11, 166–176 (2020).

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  • Mindfulness
  • Leadership development
  • Mindful leadership
  • Attention economy
  • Second-generation MBIs