by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : December 2017
The Nature Conservancy, the largest nonprofit environmental organization in the world, works to save the planet in an unusual way: not by opposing the big business interests often seen as villains but by partnering with them and other sectors of society, encourag- ing corporate leaders, policy makers, and citizens to understand the essen- tial value of nature and to protect it by making wiser business decisions. Thanks to its hallmark inclusive, collaborative approach, The Nature Conservancy has raised billions of dollars over its 65-year history and enlisted many unlikely advocates to the cause of environmentalism. In 2008, the nonprofit appointed a new Presi- dent and CEO who might have seemed an unlikely choice himself: Goldman Sachs investment banker Mark Tercek. But Tercek quickly won the respect of environmentalists and vastly expanded the work of The Nature Conservancy around the world. He credits not only his great colleagues, business acumen, and profound love of nature but also the practice of mindfulness meditation. He spoke with author Peter Jaret about the challenges of his job and the ways mindfulness has helped him. When did the practice of medita- tion start clicking for you? When I became CEO of The Nature Conservancy in mid-2008, it was a challenging time economically—the country was hit hard by the finan- cial crisis. Nonprofits like TNC were having a very tough time raising money. And it was a challenging time for me personally. I had taken the helm of an organization with 4,000 staff members, offices in all 50 states and 70 other countries. There was a lot I knew about the work of environ- mentalism, but there was a lot I didn’t know. I was doing a pretty good job, I think. But I was also aware that in some ways I wasn’t doing as well as I wanted to on the human relations front. I wasn’t connecting as well as I wanted to with the people who worked for TNC and the many part- ners we work with. Fortunately, a friend of mine, Mar- shall Goldsmith, who is a prominent executive leadership coach, offered to work with me pro bono. To get a sense of our organization and the job I was doing, he spoke with the senior team and members of our board of direc- tors. He came back to me and said that in many ways I was doing a good job, but in other ways I was being a jerk. I wasn’t listening. I was being too demanding. I was sweating all the details. I was being too negative. So Marshall and I came up with a game plan to improve in those specific areas. I made some progress, but changing my habits was tougher than I thought. As it happens, I’ve always enjoyed reading about the practice of meditation, and I was doing so again. And I thought, OK, I should give it a try. Maybe it will help. What was the experience like? As soon as I began to meditate, I found I was making more progress incorporating the better practices that Marshall and I had set as goals at work. It was easier for me to listen to the people I worked with, to be posi- tive and not sweat the small details. I want to emphasize that mine remains really a beginner’s practice of medi- tation. It’s still a beginner’s practice in many ways. But even so, I began to experience benefits. My interpersonal relations at work and at home felt better. One of my unfortunate habits, especially when I’m very busy, is to not listen well, to cut people off, to think that I have the answer to every- thing. No one likes that. It creates stress for everyone involved, includ- ing me. It meant I wasn’t getting the best from my colleagues and I was being unkind. On an intellectual basis, I understood that if I listened more and better understood other people’s point of view, everyone would benefit. But knowing that and doing it were two ver y different things. nature