Today I returned from 3 days in Le Grande, Oregon. Having previously spend the past two weeks in heavy job search mode following graduation from IE Business School it was a much needed retreat.
Le Grande can be described as a small american town of no more than around 13,000 inhabitants, much less in Le Grande proper. a quick drive west and you can find natural springs and wonderful trail running, a quick drive east and you run into Wallowa Lake where we took a leap into what felt like glacier water. It's a beautiful escape of green, welcomed quietness and meditativeness that seemed to accompany the past three days. Perhaps due to the sudden shift in pace and the attributes of Eastern ORegon as opposed to my previous two weeks, but I was moved along by a companionship of calmness and clarity.
It was this aspect of the trip that made me consider the relevance of meditation in leadership; or simply in the ability to make decisions with a clear mind. Ideally, we would want both the attributes of our left and right brain to help in making a decision. Not sure about a 50-50 split in influence over a decision, but input from both sides would be optimal in deriving at a conclusion based on what experience and knowledge we hold. It's the coordinated activity of both sides that can lead to it, and practicing that coordination of activity is what many psychologists believe meditation to be. Additionally, a Harvard study from 2006 suggested that brain growth occurs from meditation: controlling random thoughts, and focusing on sounds rather than trying to think through them.
These are some of the things that have influenced the manner in which I view meditation's role in decision making. It's a simple and short daily exercise that can lead to better clarity and potentially greater input from both sides of the brain toward reaching conclusions.
- arturo gutierrez