Mindfulness has become the corporate fad du jour, a practice widely touted as a fast-track to better leadership. But not all the benefits laid at its feet actually belong there. Research and analysis has revealed a complicated relationship between mindfulness to executive performance–one that highlights the role of emotional intelligence as the mechanism that makes mindfulness work. That’s important for leaders to understand as they seek to develop in their careers, because it reveals other approaches and tools they can use to grow as well. By focusing on mindfulness-as-corporate-fad, leaders run the risk of missing other opportunities to develop their critical emotional skills.