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Mindful Leadership
An IOSM Certificate Course

More Effective Leadership

Mindful Leadership is designed for leaders at every level of the enterprise. It is a comprehensive introduction to the science and practice of mindfulness, applied to develop important mental and emotional skills for effective leadership. Mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, distraction, bias, conflict and burnout - as it strengthens our awareness, attention and emotional control. It is a unique system of brain management that shifts us out of auto-pilot, and gives us intentional control of our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Think about how valuable these unique skills can be for supervisors, managers and executive leaders - and how they can change the game for you, your team and your organization

Mental and Emotional Skills

Our brains are programmed to survive in a world that no longer exists. We’re hard-wired to constantly scan for threat, and to unconsciously react with negative assumptions, anxious thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Our default is to fear change and uncertainty, ruminate in the past, worry about the future, and be obsessively self-absorbed, unconsciously biased, and lost in imaginary scenarios. Mindfulness interrupts these unconscious patterns - and over time, can entirely rewire the networks that govern our default mindset, traits and behaviors. These are uniquely powerful capabilities for mental and emotional control

Extraordinary Performance

Mindfulness is brain management for personal performance. Over the past decade, it’s been adopted by the world’s highest-performing individuals and organizations, including the U.S. Olympics Team, the U.S. Navy Seals and Special Forces, Formula One Racing, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons - and by dozens of world-class athletes and professional sports teams. 

Core Leadership Capabilities 

Mindfulness has been incorporated into the leadership curriculum at the world’s top business schools, including Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, London School of Economics and INSEAD - and is a mental fitness routine for many accomplished business leaders, including the CEOs at 7 of the 10 most valuable companies, worldwide. For high-performing leaders, mindfulness isn’t a woo woo ritual - It’s a rigorously science-based system for physically managing the brain towards even greater personal and organizational achievement.

Course Contents

IOSM Certificate courses blend live instruction with self-paced learning, daily practice, 
unlimited group coaching and community support


Pre-and-post course assessments

Master Class

Live, instructor-led master class


8 weekly self-study lessons 


8 weekly progress exam-lets

Daily Practice

8 weeks of daily email videos


8 optional coaching sessions

Final Exam

A comprehensive final exam


Certificate and digital badge 

Associate Access 

IOSM resources, tools and events

Lifetime Access

IOSM Global Alumni Community

Anytime Help

Phone, chat, text and email support


SHRM & HRCI recertification credits

Course Objectives

You’ll learn the nature, science and practice of mindfulness, and how to apply its outcomes
to strengthen personal performance and important leadership capabilities

Personal Capabilities

Reduce stress, anxiety and distraction

distracting Icon

Reduce reactivity and automatic behaviors


Increase focus and attentional control

Leadership Capabilities

Increase trust and loyalty


Increase self-and-situational awareness


Increase agility and adaptability


Increase self-and-situational awareness 

critical thinking and decision-making

Increase critical thinking and decision-making

Increase emotional regulation and self-control 

calm, objectivity and patience

Lead with calm, objectivity and patience


Increase social and emotional intelligence

omplexity, change and uncertainty

Lead through complexity, change and uncertainty

agility and adaptability

Increase agility and adaptability

empathy and compassion

Lead with empathy and compassion

Critical Thinking

Increase mental toughness, grit and resilience

Inspire, influence and mobilize

Inspire, influence and mobilize others

Course Outline

Public courses offer the eight weeks of self-study below. Corporate programs may be customized by changing the length of the course, or swapping any modules with alternative classes from the library


Week 1: Introduction to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a process of neural training that helps us intentionally change our mindsets and behaviors. This class is a comprehensive introduction to the nature, hands-on practice, outcomes and application of science-based mindfulness. 

You will learn:

  • The neuroscience, biology and psychology of mindfulness, including research outcomes in health and wellbeing, cognitive performance and emotional intelligence.

  • The essential practices of mindfulness: Present Awareness, Breath Control, Breath Meditation, Visualization and Insight Meditation - and how to apply them to optimize your physical, mental and emotional states.

  • The foundational attitudes of mindfulness: Non-judgment, Patience, Beginner’s Mind, Trust, Non-Striving, Acceptance and Letting Go - and how to apply them to intentionally solve real problems in the real world.


Week 2: Leadership Stress and Burnout

According to Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) research, 88% percent of leaders cite work as the primary source of stress in their lives and believe that having a leadership role increases that stress - 60% cite the organization for failing to provide the tools they need to manage it.

You will learn:

  • To recognize and reduce the stressors and triggers most common to managers and leaders.

  • To reframe and reduce self-criticism, negative rumination, anxiety and worry. 

  • Mindfulness practices that reduce chronic stress and increase mental and emotional strength. 

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Week 3: Leadership Focus and Attention Control

Focus, attention control and sustained concentration are critical leadership skills. This class explores the challenges of distraction and attention deficit - and neural strategies for dampening inbound signals while strengthening attention control.

You will learn:

  • To reinforce brain circuits for directing and sustaining attention.

  • To intentionally control what to diffuse, what to pay attention to, and how.

  • Mindfulness practices that strengthen open awareness and focused attention.


Week 4: Leading Through Change and Uncertainty

Markets and operating environments are ever-changing and becoming ever-more complex. This class explores ways that mindfulness can help us navigate through volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity - and lead others effectively through change.

You will learn:

  • How the brain struggles to adapt in an unpredictable and increasingly complex environment.

  • To de-center and regard changing circumstances with objectivity and equanimity.

  • Mindfulness practices that help us accept, adapt, and embrace change with an open and curious mind.


Week 5: Leading With Trust and Influence

Effective leaders inspire, motivate and mobilize others, through authenticity, trustworthiness, and earned influence. This class shows how mindfulness impacts the complex mix of mental, emotional and interpersonal skills that comprise these capabilities.

You will learn:

  • The fundamentals of self-knowledge, authenticity and personal presence.

  • To identify and act on your most intentional beliefs, values and behaviors.

  • Mindfulness practices that develop the behavioral traits that inspire trust, confidence and loyalty.


Week 6: Leading With Social and Emotional Intelligence

Social and emotional intelligence are central to effective leadership. This class shows how mindfulness strengthens the foundational traits of self awareness, self-regulation, empathy and compassion, effective communication, and social grace.

You will learn:

  • The most current framework and competencies that comprise social and emotional intelligence.

  • Mindfulness practices that cultivate self-awareness and self-control. 

  • Mindfulness practices that cultivate care, kindness and compassionate behaviors.

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Week 7: Leadership Communication

Effective leaders are able to listen closely and respond with clarity while under great pressure. This class shows how mindfulness can be applied to train attention, and create the mental space to choose our most strategic response.

You will learn:

  • To direct undivided attention.

  • To create connection, attunement, and rapport.

  • Mindfulness practices that strengthen effective communication skills.

Week 8: Leadership Grit and Resilience  

Leaders must be able to sustain energy under pressure, cope with disruptive changes, and adapt quickly. This class shows how mindfulness neural training creates the mental toughness, grit and resilience that drive peak performance.

You will learn:

  • To train the brain to face fear, take action and persevere.

  • To train mental strength and emotional stability.

  • Mindfulness practices that help us to withstand, adapt, and recover from challenging circumstances.

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“Focus, clarity, creativity, compassion, and courage. These are the qualities of the mindful leaders I have worked with, taught, mentored, and interviewed. They give today’s best leaders the resilience to cope with challenges, and the resolve to sustain long-term success.”


William George, Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School, 

Former CEO, Medtronic

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