To understand the effect of meditation on leaders in the East and the West, we conducted randomized-pretest-posttest experimental group studies for a period of 12 weeks on 144 CEOs/senior managers in the East (Bangkok: N=80) and the West (London: N=64) selected from a sampling frame of the companies registered in Bangkok, Thailand and London, UK. We measured the effects on 13 dependent variables that consisted of emotional intelligence (EI) and its 5 components, and self-perceived leadership skills (LS) and their 5 components, and EI and LS simultaneously. We find that both EI and LS were enhanced separately and simultaneously in both experimental groups. A number of individual components of EI and LS were also enhanced. The effect of meditation varied significantly for the two international samples. Overall, the London sample, in contrast to the Bangkok CEOs, gained greater effect-size advantage from meditating.
The London sample gained on 12 of the 13 dependent variables, while Bangkok gained on 9 of 13. The effect size was medium for the Bangkok leaders, but large for the London leaders. We show that meditation helps managers attain higher emotional intelligence and leadership skills, and that leaders in the West can gain more by practicing meditation.