Having coached hundreds of leaders over the past 20 years, and through my own evolution as a human being and leader, I would like to share some perspectives on the topic of “Conscious Leadership,” and on what being a conscious leader is all about. This is such a big topic, and is gaining significant momentum in our business and collective consciousness, so I’d like to spark thought and dialog around this next phase where leadership is heading.
The opposite of being conscious is unconscious; acting in a conditioned manner without awareness of one’s present realm, reacting to occurrences from unconscious habit or patterns, repetitive thoughts and behaviors that keep reoccurring over long periods of time.
Becoming more conscious, more aware, of one’s self and of others, is the next path of personal and professional growth, if one chooses. An internal shift in one’s consciousness from the unconscious, automatic state of being can happen over time through a focused process of developing oneself, or can happen in an instant. Either way, once new levels of awareness have been achieved, one can see new, more effective, more easily received, more meaningful ways to live life, in dealing with people, solving problems and conflict, and in boosting creativity, teamwork, and performance. Research also proves that those leaders who are more conscious and are creating conscious cultures of more engaged and aligned employees are even more profitable than their competitors (Firms of Endearment 2014). So not only is becoming more conscious good for one’s sprit, it’s very good business too!
Continue reading Are You a Conscious Leader?
Our current world has undergone massive cultural and business transformations over the past centuries. As we emerged from Monarchies to Nation-states and Democracy, from craftsmanship to the Industrial and Information Ages, from Mercantilism to Capitalism and Globalism, we again seem to be approaching a new tipping point. The rate of change and increasing complexities are requiring newer forms of how we come together at work, why organizations are formed and what are their purposes going forward, and how to maximize the power of the human element beyond conventional management practices.
Whatever your opinion about business and capitalism is, the facts are that the combination of democracy and capitalism has driven the rise in the quality and standards of living for billions of people on the planet over the past 150 years. Business is the mechanism by which we humans solve problems and improve the comfort, efficiencies and pleasures we experience today. While much progress has been made, there are many unintended consequences to the modernization of our societies, and we face huge challenges moving into the future. Global events of the past few decades make it evident we are at a major crossroads. Einstein said that “we cannot resolve our problems with the same levels consciousness with which we created them.” In other words, “what got us here won’t get us where we need to go.” Yet, those in current positions of power don’t seem to comprehend what’s really going on around them, or aren’t motivated to act with greater awareness and leadership.
Before we can dive in to all the aspects and benefits of conscious leadership, and being a conscious leader, we need to discuss what is meant by the term “conscious leadership.” First we need to look at the definitions of both words. Let’s start with the word “Consciousness.”
The Consciousness of Conscious Leadership
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines consciousness as follows:
– The quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself; the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact
– The state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought
– The totality of conscious states of an individual
– The normal state of conscious life <regained consciousness>
– The upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes.
A few other perspectives say that consciousness is:
– The having of perceptions, thoughts and feelings; awareness. The term is impossible to define except in terms that are unintelligible without a grasp of what consciousness means… Nothing worth reading has been written about it. – The International Dictionary of Psychology
– Futurist Peter Russell who speaks and writes about the “primacy of consciousness” puts it this way: “The biggest hurdle to defining consciousness is the word itself. A noun is inappropriate. Consciousness does not exist as a ‘thing’. It is not a ‘thing’ to be known, but knowing itself.”
Continue reading What is Conscious Leadership?