Warren Bennis is a scholar of Leadership Studies, and a pioneer in the field. Every year he publishes his Leadership Excellence Magazine. Within the magazine he ranks the top leadership programs nationwide, by category.
For two years, our somatic leadership approach (created & directed by our partner Scott Coady) ranked 7th for all leadership trainings in the federal government and/or military (just ahead of the Army Rangers and the Navy Seals).
The work we did at NASA as mentioned above was also featured as a Case Study in Excellence by the Partnership for Public Service. Their article details the desired outcomes, design stages, execution, results, and growth of this program over the course of its first year into its second. It went on to run for 9 years, with higher level managers and executives across many departments signing on to participate as they saw the results from earlier students made manifest throughout the organization.
One of the most well-respected scientific journals in the U.S., the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences (PNAS), recently published the findings of a collaborative research team led by Chinese scientist Yi-Yuan Tang, and University of Oregon professor Posner.
This article, Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation, details how incorporating activities that focus on the body can aid the other aspects of self (mind, emotional state, fear responses, etc). Using results from several studies, this investigation provides evidence that somatic involvement benefits a leader’s capacity to stand in high-stress situations with calm and creativity in body and mind.
The mission of the Defense Centers of Excellence is to “improve the lives of our nation’s service members, families and veterans by advancing excellence in psychological health and traumatic brain injury prevention and care.”
The work of our colleague Elaine Karas is featured in the article below, which demonstrates the ways her somatics and mindfulness training improve a person’s ability to remain calm, creative, and present even in the face of challenges. This kind of resilience can prevent trauma before it happens, and help individuals rise above past traumas to regain their full leadership power.
Peter A. Levine PhD is a therapist who specializes in the treatment of patients who experience chronic stress and high trauma situations, such as those in high-risk military and foreign relations assignments.
This article, Memory, Trauma, and Loss, depicts the foundations of Levine’s Somatic approach, as it follows the struggles of a patient and his solutions. Levine demonstrates how a somatic approach is a method of healing from stress and trauma.
Top performers in any endeavor know how to achieve their ideal performance state – a state of body and mind that is optimal for the achievement of their goals, no matter how audacious.
The Making of a Corporate Athlete, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, discusses a new method of reaching peak performance in corporations. These researchers combine the same ideals of athletics to benefit workers in ‘business settings.’ This is a somatic approach to developing employees to higher levels. The following link directs to an abstract of the article and an option to purchase the full article.
Similar to Peter Levine, Pat Ogden’s work is primarily focused on therapeutic intervention for trauma victims. These same principles of body awareness serve to enhance human resilience and emotional stability, which generates trust among organizations.
In this article, Including the Body in Mainstream Psychotherapy for Traumatized Individuals, Ogden and colleagues demonstrate the importance of the somatic approach in strengthening the mind and the self.