Mindful Leadership: How Emotional Intelligence Can Guide Us Through Change and Drive Organizational Success

By News Staff


January 18, 2024 – There is unprecedented change happening in workplaces today. Leaders need to navigate this change with emotional intelligence and mindfulness to maximize the benefits. According to McKinsey's 2023 report on State of Organizations, research has shown that 72 percent of transformations fail because of management performance that doesn't support the change (33%) and resistance from employees (39%).


“Change can be unsettling and stressful,” says Dave Barnett, DeVry University’s chief administrative officer. “Being fully present and aware of how people are responding to change is key. For leaders, this means understanding how your team feels about change and addressing their concerns with compassion.”


With new technologies, business models, and social changes remaking how we work, leaders must recognize that people will have a range of reactions to change from fear to excitement. A mindful leader meets people where they are and helps them navigate change in a supportive way. They understand that change is difficult even when the rationale is clear. With mindful communication and by modeling a growth mindset, leaders can inspire others to be open to change. 


“In this fast-paced, digitally driven world, that can be difficult for many leaders to achieve but leading with this approach can have positive impacts on your colleagues and, in DeVry University’s case, our students,” he adds.

At DeVry, we have worked extremely hard to cultivate a Culture of CARE so that it’s embodied at every level of the organization. We work diligently to uphold our culture of care, which includes care for self, care for colleagues, our students and the communities we serve.


“Leading with compassion and empathy can create a sense of belonging and excitement for the mission among your team - something we’ve seen with our colleagues and students at DeVry,” adds Barnett.


Research increasingly shows colleagues expect to bring their full selves to work, and for this to be possible, we need to create environments that foster openness and a sense of belonging.  


“When examining mindfulness, it is also critical for leaders to be present. Many of us can probably think of a time when someone gave us their full attention or when they didn’t. The difference that approach can have on a colleague, how they feel about you as a leader and their work, is vastly different,” Barnett notes.


Mindfulness also reduces stress and leads to greater focus and creativity. This allows leaders to be proactive rather than reactive, filtering out distractions and noise.


Change is constant. Leaders who practice mindfulness and emotional intelligence are best equipped to guide their organizations to adapt and thrive. By being fully present, aware of how change impacts people, and able to respond with empathy and clarity, mindful leaders can create a positive experience of change. They are the calm at the center of the storm. Their ability to lead with compassion and wisdom is what organizations need to succeed during times of transformation.

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About DeVry University 

DeVry University strives to close society’s opportunity gap and address emerging talent needs by preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online in Business, Healthcare and Technology. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, www.hlcommission.org/). The university’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. To learn more, visit devry.edu.