Psychedelics and Meditation Improve Leadership, People Believe
Elon Musk has used LSD. CEOs attend ayahuasca retreats. Millionaires fund psychedelic research. “The billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis,” Tim Ferriss said. Steve Jobs said Microsoft might’ve been better if Bill Gates had used LSD. And a lot of people who aren’t billionaires believe psychedelics improve leadership.
A new study of nearly 10,000 American and British adults shows us just how much. In the study, researchers found that 40% of people who had tried psychedelics reported that their leadership abilities improved following their experience.
Furthermore, the study examined the effect of mindfulness meditation on leadership. In the surveys, 71% of respondents saying that mindfulness meditation had a positive impact on their leadership. Survey respondents said that psychedelics and meditation benefited them by increasing their “presence and awareness.”
In the surveys, people told researchers how psychedelics and meditation improved their creativity, productivity, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, people discussed how psychedelics and meditation made them more empathetic and patient with others. Moreover, they also discussed how psychedelics and meditation improved their capacity to lead in the workplace and in other parts of life.
Psychedelics and Leadership Study Limitations
The idea that psychedelics and meditation do actually improve leadership abilities is a difficult thing to prove. There aren’t many objective measurements of a solid leader. Additionally, the people who took this survey may be overestimating their own leadership abilities. They may, like many of us, want to believe the best about themselves. Moreover, even among the billionaires Tim Ferriss knows, he may only hear from the billionaires who believe in psychedelics and want to talk about it. He may not hear from the folks who never used psychedelics, those who used them recklessly, or those who never became billionaires.
Knowing that people think psychedelics improve leadership, psychedelic retreats and integration coaches have long been interested in the fact that people correlate psychedelic use with better leadership. With that fact in mind, an increasing number of providers gear their psychedelic retreats specifically toward people who want to improve their ability in leadership. That might mean CEOs or small business owners or pastors and community organizers.
“My experience with ayahuasca has had a profound positive impact on my personal and professional life,” said Barry Stamos, an advisor to startups, after attending a retreat in Costa Rica called Reunion, aimed at leaders.