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April 2017

Newsletter #34: Addiction and Conscious Leadership

I spoke last week to a group of leaders in New York who are at an inflection point in their careers. They are poised to move to the highest level of leadership in their organization. Part way through the talk I suggested to them that they were all addicted to a chemical cocktail of adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine. My point was that in some important ways this habit of mainlining stress had served them well up to this point in their careers, but it would be toxic to them if they wanted to become conscious leaders who lead from presence and not reactivity. As is often the case when I suggested this there was pushback in the room, strong pushback.

This week I had one of those “life comes in 3s” experiences. First, a friend told me about Adam Alter’s book Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. Second, I bought the book and read much of it while watching the Masters yesterday (btw, this is the one sporting event I put on my calendar each year and ritually position myself in the first pew of the sacred sanctuary that is Augusta National and yesterday did not disappoint). And, third, Adam Adler was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes right after the Masters.

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