Will a Kinder, Gentler CEO Be More Effective? (video)

CNBC's Squawk Box explores the question with Bill George, former CEO and current Harvard business professor running the school's Authentic Leadership Development program. 

Can mindfulness, in the long term, contribute to the bottom line?

Yes, says Bill George, Harvard business professor and former chairman and CEO of Medtronic. George started meditating in 1975 to cope with stress, and he liked the results. Now, 800 individuals take his Authentic Leadership Development course annually at Harvard— both MBA students and executives. The course gets students to hone their strategies and goals with mindfulness techniques and other reflective practices.

In the clip below, George discusses how mindfulness helped him de-stress and focus on his work. For his students, he tells them they can find “real time” solutions to stress and over-packed schedules by taking a quick inventory of tasks before attempting to complete them—and doing it in a reflective way:

“I think you need an introspective practice and honest feedback. Every day we need to pull aside for 20 minutes and think, ‘What is really important today?’ I find when I do this, I get my greatest clarity and most creativity. And If you don’t have some form of practice—maybe it’s not meditation, maybe it’s journaling or diary or praying or talking to a loved one—but something where you really think about it and focus on what’s important. Because you can’t just be scatterbrained all day long and be productive.”

The video runs seven minutes.

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