Executive Webinars: Mindful Leadership Certificate Program

Course Dates: 
Spring – March 5, 2022 – March 26, 2022
Fall – October 1, 2022 – October 22, 2022 

Click here to register

Time: Saturdays, 9:00am-12:30pm EST

Registration fee:
Regular Rate $1,299/per person

Government Employee Rate: $999/per person
*Please email ExecEd@gmu.edu for discount code

Online Program & Certificate
This online course is designed for those in leadership positions at all levels and across sectors. Taught by Heather Gwaltney, Founder/CEO of the Center for Mindful Business, Author, and Consultant. The instruction will be in “real time” where students login to the virtual class on Mason's platform.

What is a Mindful Leader?

Successful leadership requires a specific set of skills that often go underdeveloped. With the constant demands of work and related stress, there is also often little time for personal development to learn the concepts and develop tools to be effective. According to leading business journals, common pitfalls of leaders include: Being reactive vs. proactive, avoiding conflict, treating people like machines, micromanaging, as well as, underestimating the importance of communication, listening, and emotional intelligence. Conversely, studies reveal common success factors of an effective leader. Successful leaders have “breakthrough thinking” and place emphasis on opportunities rather than solving problems. Even though proper task-management is important, they focus first on interpersonal relationships, effective communication, and training and development. They also use a democratic vs. command and control approach. Companies in the U.S. and abroad are adopting Mindfulness Meditation practices to drive their success. Among these companies are Google, Goldman Sachs, General Mills, T. Rowe Price, Nike, and HBO. Mindfulness Meditation is a tool for leaders to support the above-mentioned success factors and build individual and collective:

  • Wellness and resilience
  • Relationships and collaboration
  • Performance and leadership, among others!

Experts Agree

In more recent years, the scientific community has been studying the connection between Mindfulness Meditation and leadership. The results show a pattern that in addition to reducing stress and providing a number of health benefits, meditation helps leaders achieve mental clarity and activates the prefrontal cortex for advanced interpersonal awareness and problem solving. A C-level professional describes how meditation is also linked to increased “compassion for others, and ability to empower the people in your organization,” in addition to the ability to “maintain their equilibrium under constant pressure.” Mindfulness Meditation is a relatively easy way to apply tools in the present moment while in a work environment.

The Triple Bottom Line Drives Sustained Results

Furthermore, thousands of companies worldwide have been achieving greater and more sustained success by adding social and environmental impacts to their profit bottom line. Microsoft, GE, DuPont, PepsiCo, and Whole Foods are among the companies who have adopted the concepts, practices, and metrics from the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) of people, planet, profit factors that can be measured by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. TBL and GRI practices and measures have been used for over 25 years and are gaining momentum – particularly in the U.S. and Western Europe. They are effective external ways for organizations to become healthier and more successful over the long-term.

Combining Mindfulness with the Triple Bottom Line

By integrating Mindfulness Meditation with the TBL and GRI practices and metrics, organizations are better positioned to be healthier and more successful from the inside out. The benefits to companies that implement these practices?

  • Sustained increased financial returns, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement;
  • Reduced employee turnover and customer attrition; and
  • The ability to recruit top talent, etc.

Program Highlights and Features

In this course, the instructor will provide information on how Mindfulness Meditation works, and how when used in a leadership role, create healthier and more effective organizations over the long term. Specifically, the Instructor will teach students how to link Mindfulness Meditation to successful leadership outcomes, TBL practices and GRI metrics. There are also a number of guest speakers who share their own experience as leaders in the field, including:

Photo of Avivah-Wittenberg-Cox

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, MBA
Named in ELLE Magazine as one of the "Top 40 Women Leading Change". CEO of 20-FIRST, TEDx Speaker, writer for Forbes and Harvard Business Review, and author of a number of best-selling, non-fiction books.

Photo of Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman, MBA
Conscious Entrepreneur and Speaker. Co-Founder of Livability Project, Bethesda Green, and Virtues Matter.

Photo of David Warschawski

David Warschawski
CEO of Warschawski Marketing, PR and Branding Agency and Guest Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University's Carey School of Business, Digital  Marketing Certification Course.

Photo of Jenny Kassan

Jenny Kassan, J.D., MCP
Attorney and Advisor to mission-driven organizations. President of Community of Ventures and Author of Raise Capital on Your Own Terms.

Photo of Tojo Thatchenkery

Tojo Thatchenkery
Ph.D., Author and Co-founder, Professor & Director of the Master’s in Organization Development and Knowledge Management program, Schar School, George Mason University.

Photo of Violette de Ayala

Violette de Ayala
Founder + CEO of FemCity, Author, and Speaker.

This online program webinar is designed for those in leadership positions at all levels and across sectors, including department leads, C-level professionals, those in HR and Learning and Development roles, “Conscious Entrepreneurs”, and students studying organizational development, business, education, and coaching.

This four-week program will be delivered once a week (Saturdays) over 4 sessions from 9:00AM – 12:30PM Eastern Time. Topics covered include the following:

Week/Day 1 (March 5): Mindfulness and Leadership

In this class, the focus is on linking mindfulness to successful leadership factors, and how when used together, leaders cultivate healthier, more sustainable success – from the inside out. Specifically, Heather speaks about and facilitates exercises on topics, including:

  • Making the case for Mindfulness
  • Stress reduction and mental clarity
  • Gender in leadership
  • Communications and listening
  • Conflict resolution
  • Resiliency to change
  • Cultivating creativity
  • Power and sphere of influence

Week/Day 2 (March 12): Mindfulness and Social Capital

Social capital is defined as “the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.” In an organizational setting, it is the implementation and measure of success in categories such as:

  • Employee relations
  • Health and safety
  • Human rights (to include privacy)
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Training and education
  • Community impacts

In this class, Heather speaks about and facilitates exercises on student-selected social capital topic(s) most relevant to the needs of their organization -- integrating TBL/GRI, change management, and communications practices. She also illustrates how by using them together, students expand the definition of success in and impact of their organizations, and drive and measure social impact initiatives.

Week/Day 3 (March 19): Mindfulness and Environmental Impact

Environmental metrics vary depending on the type of company and sector. However, examples include: 

  • Pollutants emitted and carbon footprint 
  • Recycling and reuse 
  • Water and energy use
  • Waste reduction 
  • Product impacts

In this class, Heather speaks about and facilitates exercises on student-selected environmental impact topic(s) most relevant to the needs of their organization -- integrating TBL/GRI, change management, and communications. She also illustrates how by using them together, students can expand the definition of success in their organizations, and drive and measure environmental impact initiatives.

Week/Day 4 (March 26): Mindfulness and Financial Sustainability

It is clear that companies want and need financial success. What is less clear is the meaning of financial wellness. Is the company performing well, especially compared to their competition? Are the organization’s projects and culture in alignment with its values, purpose, and business drivers? How is the company performing over the long-term? Common measures of financial wellness include: 

  • Sales
  • Net profits
  • ROI 
  • Jobs created 
  • Supplier relations 

In this class, Heather speaks about and facilitates exercises on student-selected financial wellness topic(s) most relevant to the needs of their organization -- integrating TBL/GRI, change management, and communications. She helps students align financial performance with business drivers and organizational values and culture. Furthermore, Heather illustrates how by aligning these factors, students can expand the definition of success in their organizations and achieve financial results over the long term.

Throughout the four (4) weeks, students will be introduced to the concepts and practice of Mindfulness Meditation and how it relates to successful leadership and sustainable organizational performance. By the end of the course, they will have more tools and mental models to lead their own organizations. Through a blend of lecture, visuals, mindfulness and case-study exercises, reflection, and dialogue, students will be able to apply practical Mindfulness practices to their daily work experiences, as well as have a greater capacity to lead teams in a healthy, effective way.

[Three (3) hours and thirty (30) minutes per day; one (1) day per week for four (4) weeks. Spring March 5th-26th, and Fall October 1st-22nd, 2022. 

About the Instructor

Heather Gwaltney, Founder/CEO of Center for Mindful Business.

Ms. Gwaltney began her career in the private sector working for boutique-sized firms in marketing research, strategy, and design. During the course of her 25-year professional history, she has expanded into the non-profit and education sectors—providing communications, organizational development, and education. What she also brings to Mindful Leadership is 12 years of leadership experience with tech and finance companies and a 20-year practice of Mindfulness Meditation. Ms. Gwaltney is a former Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, and has taught numerous in-person and online courses for private companies and non-profits. As a Mason alumna, she has a Master of Science in Organization Development and Knowledge Management and a Bachelors of Art in Psychology: Minor in Business Administration. Furthermore, Ms. Gwaltney is a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, Author of a self-help book for women, and Director of a documentary being used in higher education. She has a practical approach to teaching with an emphasis on compassion and humor. For more information, visit her online at https://heathergwaltney.com/.


Interested in this program? Contact ExecEd@gmu.edu.