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An Interview with Rich Fernandez, CEO of SIYLI, Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute

Rich dives deep into his background and explains how he finds mindfulness personally and professionally. Rich explains that a leader is someone with influence. So, leadership can be based on your role and authority. However, just because you have a specific purpose in an organization doesn’t mean you will be an effective leader. Then, Rich speaks about rewiring our brains and learning how to train our awareness and train our attention. We can grow the grey matter in our minds using contemplative practices. Later, Rich explains how to become a conscious leader – it involves practicing awareness and turning our lens on the impacts we have on others.

In This Episode:

  • [01:00] About Rich Fernandez
  • [02:50] How Rich finds mindfulness personally and professionally 
  • [07:00] The difference between power and influence
  • [11:00] How corporations are becoming a social enterprise  
  • [17:45] We can rewire our brains and grow our grey matter with contemplative practices
  • [22:25] The impact of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute
  • [26:30] Developing conscious leadership through contemplative practices
  • [34:50] Organizational culture is changing to be human and environmentally centered
  • [39:50] About the adoption of SIYLI at Google
  • [48:00] We need conscious awareness to navigate enormous complexities  

Key Takeaways:

  • A leader is somebody who has influence. Leadership can be based on role, authority, and influence. 
  • Just because you have authority doesn’t mean you will be an effective leader. A leader needs to demonstrate a positive influence to create an ethical outcome. 
  • Meditation has powerful effects on our physiology and our brain.
  • Contemplative practice is a way to turn the lens inward and turn the lens on our impact on others; awareness is a skill we can grow and cultivate.
  • We are just at the beginning of integrating conscious leadership into organizational culture.

Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute

Meet Rich Fernandez
Rich is the CEO of SIYLI. He was previously the director of executive education and people development at Google, where he was also one of the first SIY teachers. Rich previously founded Wisdom Labs and has also served in senior roles at eBay, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America. He received his PhD in Psychology from Columbia University and is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review.

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