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Mindful : August 2019
Janice Marturano was a high-achieving, burned-out executive at General Mills when a friend convinced her to spend a week at a spa. Marturano had just overseen a high-stakes acquisition that was supposed to take six months to complete, and took 18 instead. During that period, both her parents died. “I did what most profession- als do: We play hur t. We keep going because that’s what we do. We still have children to care for, and spouses, we still have our responsibilities at work.” That spa, though. Mar tur- ano scoffed at the idea, only softening when she saw one of its offerings. “The power of mindfulness, an intensive retreat for executives and inno- vators. And at that moment, in my very warped brain, I said, well, maybe if it’s intensive, it’sOKtogotoaspa.” That retreat changed her life. She went all in, looking at neuroscience research, and studying the way other cultures use mindfulness. She began to see overlaps between this new passion and a longstanding one: leadership. She worked with a friend to develop the very first mindful leadership cur- riculum at the University of Massachusetts. Mar turano also founded and leads the Institute for Mindful Leadership, which offers retreats and courses to leaders and employees at companies and organiza- tions. For Marturano, key to mindful leadership is what she calls the “win-win-win,” which refers to a business decision that benefits the company, the employees, and society. She believes mindful leadership is not a luxury. “It’s an absolute imperative if we want professionals to do the work we need them to do—for themselves, for their organization, and for that big picture. Boy, do we need it. Government can’t do it. Nonprofits don’t have enough money to do it. We need these folks to have the spacious- ness to find the win-win-win.” Find the Win-Win-Win JANICE MARTURANO A high-powered law yer for a national television network, cofounder of the Inner Kids Foundation, author of multiple books on mindfulness, and a mother of two, Susan Kaiser Greenland says mind- fulness has been a lifeline for her. “I truly believe mindfulness-based self-regulation strategies are crucial at all ages, to give people the bandwidth to have open minds so they can learn and listen,” she says. “Once people recognize their nervous systems are getting overly burdened and they can dial that back, the worldview piece comes into place.” But, she believes, there’s still plenty of work to be done. “The situation we’re in now keeps me up at night. No one’s talking to each other, they’re talking past each other, hand-wringing and finger-pointing. Everyone’s nervous system is jacked up, everything they do jacks it up further.” She recognizes that in her own past. “The gen- eration of women who were coming up through the corporate world when I was there, in order to get where we were going, you had to take on a lot of male characteristics. I used to come home like the termi- nator,” she recalls. “I know mindfulness has helped me soften that edge and be more confident, but that was a price of trying to break through to certain jobs that just weren’t open to women at the time—you had to develop a male way to navigate.” Now, Kaiser Greenland knows “there’s a different way to navigate, kinder, more compassionate, more effective.” Un-hijack Your Nervous System SUSAN KAISER GREENLAND “People can recognize their nervous systems are getting overly burdened and they can dial that back.” SUSAN KAISER GREENLAND PHOTOGRAPHSBYDUKEVIRGINIAANDCOURTESYOFJANICEMARTURANOANDSUSANKAISERGREENLAND August 2019 mindful 43