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Part of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute’s mission is to develop wise and compassionate leaders worldwide. After all, most of us will spend more than 60 percent of our waking hours at work, so shouldn’t that time be spent in an environment where people can thrive? In a Mindfulness Masterclass with Melli O’Brien, founder of The Mindfulness Summit, SIYLI CEO Rich Fernandez discusses how to achieve a meaningful and happy work life.

Based on his experience leading successful mindfulness workshops at eBay during the financial crisis and being an early part of the Search Inside Yourself program at Google, Fernandez has learned that empathy and compassion are not soft skills. As he says, “They’re the fundamental skills of high-performing teams and effective leaders.”

In addition to identifying the core characteristics of good leaders in this interview, Fernandez provides the hard data to support mindfulness-based programs in the workplace—an ROI that companies like SAP consider well worth the effort.