Chatting with a friend yesterday, the conversation turned to “Conscious Leadership”.
It’s a term I’m hearing more often, but I have never it seen precisely defined. I began to wonder, what is a “conscious leader”? If I met one, what would I expect to see or hear them do differently?
I came up with eight things:
First is that I would expect to see them making deliberate ‘conscious’ choices about the actions they take, and the actions of their organisations. Second, I would expect those choices to be made in line with some clearly defined purpose and values.
Third, when dealing with other people and organisations I would expect these leaders always to show a high degree of emotional intelligence, so that even an apparent “crisis” would become an opportunity simply to reinforce what was most important and focus on achieving that.
Fourth, I would expect to see calmness in the face of dramatic situations. Fifth, I would expect the conscious leader to be able to make clear sense of those situations, so that (sixth) they could then find ways forward from even the most difficult circumstances.
Seventh, I would expect the conscious leaders to be able to articulate an inspiring vision.
And finally, I wouldn’t expect them to call any of this “Conscious Leadership”: to them it would simply be “Leadership”.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent 25 year victory for democracy in Burma provides one useful example of what conscious leadership might look like. [Though in 2017 this took an unexpected turn.]
And on this Armistice Day of remembrance for the millions who died during the Great War and in other wars since, conscious leadership is probably something all of us would do well to strive towards.
Inner Leadership provides tools that enable anyone to achieve these eight characteristics of conscious leadership.
- Chapter 1 provides tools for remaining grounded and calm in even the most difficult circumstances.
- Chapter 2 shows how to make clear sense of a situation, removing the emotional mis-blinks we all sometimes make, and providing a structured approach for drawing on the power of our unconscious.
- Chapter 3 shows how to find the opportunities in a crisis, and Chapter 4 shows how to consciously choose between them, in line with the purpose and values you develop in Chapter 5.
- Chapter 6 shows how to describe your chosen opportunity as an inspiring vision.
- Chapter 7 provides tools for ‘consciously’ leading people and organisations over time.
Separately, these tools enable us to address each part of the situations we face in a more ‘conscious’ way.
Together they develop us as leaders. We learn to transform not only the situations we face but also ourselves.