Chris Proulx

Exploring the practice of leadership at the intersection of ancient wisdom and modern science


I am on a fourth month sabbatical/retreat from my work at Humentum through the end of 2021. You can read more about that here. I am thinking and will be writing about the mind, the mind at work, what we know and don’t how, and why we have not become very effective at building healthy and higher performing teams of knowledge workers.

I have been work on lots of house and garden projects, listening selectively to a few podcasts, developing a bit of an appreciation for jazz music, exercising and hiking, trying out a new voice in both prose and poetry, and engaging in a few meaningful and deeper conversations with people.

I have been paying a lot of attention to how we pay attention. I have been noticing how attention can really only be applied deeply to a few things. And our current culture works to pull that attention away all the time. I have noticed how I keep slowing down–and finding that there is more opportunity to slow down even further,

I am continuing to explore brining more samatha into my meditation practice and will be sitting a three month silent retreat in November. I am grateful for the teaching guidance of Ayya Dhammadipa, books and guided meditations from Bikkhu Analayo and the talks from Thanissaro Bikkhu and Ajahn Sucitto at this point in my practice.

I have been working on a reading list for the sabbatical mostlyfrom the emerging neuroscience about our minds at work.

The Timeless Way of Looking: Christopher Alexander

7 1/2 Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

How Emotions are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Indistractible by Nir Eyal

Being You by Anil Seth

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Alive at Work: The Neuroscience of Helping People Do What They Love by Dan Cable

Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown

How to Live: Derek Sivers

Mindfulness of Breathing: Analayo

Creating a Life of Integrity: Gail Andersen Stark

Empathy matters, but is just the first step to Compassion in Leadership:

1. Being fully present to someone(s) anger, fear, anxiety, or overwhelm.

2. Asking yourself “Is there something I can do to help?”

3. Having the wisdom to recognize and accept that sometimes the answer to question number 2 is no. Yet committing to being fully present anyway.

Updated December 8, 2021 from Ithaca, NY USA

(This is a now page, and if you have your own site, you should make one, too.)

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