On Becoming A Conscious Leader
July 12, 2010
“Unless somebody can find a way to change human nature we will have more crises”
~ Alan Greenspan
The Nature of Business
Since I’ve been working in the coaching industry, doing my own personal development work, and observing the Wall Street melt down and the resulting global recession, I see so much fear and scarcity thinking throughout business – people mired in a competitive, adversarial model of being, caught up in craving and wanting – yet never satisfied. This paradigm is not just on Wall Street – I see it on Main Street with my clients as well, and I was certainly an extreme version of this earlier in my career.
On top of that, most leaders I work with struggle within a hyper-paced, intensely challenging business environment – increased complexity, compressed product life cycles, markets more competitive – all within the context of increasing pressure to execute.
A New Leadership Paradigm
I believe a new type of leader is necessary – a more conscious, self aware, holistic leader. A leader who is inspired to do the inner work required to steward a highly functioning team toward optimal performance – and not get caught up in ego and self-grasping.
So I created and now coach Conscious Leadership Development with my clients. We look at the whole person vs. attempting to just create skills and behaviors aligned for a particular role. It’s about discovering values and purpose – the core – and navigating from that core – from the inside out – in a way that’s aligned to overall organizational goals. Conscious Leadership Development is human development. It’s a discovery and cultivation of an authentic self – the foundation of real power, performance and fulfillment. I’ve found both on my own journey, and in working with my clients, that it’s from this centered base that the executive will experience both a new growth trajectory, and the ability to take actions that were previously unavailable.
Conscious Leadership will disrupt the traditional hierarchy of modern corporate America, with visionaries acting as supporters, encouragers, stewards – “Servant Leaders”. I’ve realized the most effective leaders are the ones that serve, rather than command and control; the ones who seek to understand rather than seeking to be understood; and the ones who give rather than take. Heightened consciousness creates an understanding that prosperity and possibility lie in service, while fear and scarcity lie in wanting and taking. And I’ve found that this service oriented consciousness drives performance, productivity and corporate well being better than anything else.
The conscious leader commits to a lifetime of developing self awareness, and commits resources to supporting the people in her company and their pursuit of human development – expanding self awareness. The net result is increased performance and productivity – but also, a conscious company – purposeful in it’s pursuit of the “triple bottom line” – serving people, the planet and profit.