At HPISolutions, leadership is a subject that is near and dear to our hearts, and we’re always in search of valuable research and new ideas that we can share with our clients. Recently, we’ve been exploring the concept of “Conscious Leadership”, which is part of an overall model called “Conscious Capitalism”.  In this week’s Power Idea, Diane Janovsky will provide an overview of Conscious Capitalism, and then next week, we’ll dive more deeply into the topic of Conscious Leadership. 

Conscious Capitalism is an idea, an organization, and a movement.  Based on the book, “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business” by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, it is a thought-provoking approach to conducting business that demonstrates companies can be a force for good while still enjoying superior financial performance and long-term value creation.

There are the four basic principles or tenets to Conscious Capitalism.

  • Higher Purpose:

Businesses exist to serve customers and fulfill a need in society, not simply to make a profit. Purpose is closely related to Simon Sinek’s concept of “Why” in his ground-breaking book “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”.  Having a clearly articulated and understood Higher Purpose is a key foundation to Conscious Capitalism.

  • Stakeholder Orientation:

A business is like an eco-system and it must serve the needs of interdependent stakeholders in order to survive.  In the last several decades, a focus on shareholder returns to the exclusion of all else has played a large part in driving many corporate scandals with disastrous results, including the sub-prime meltdown of the recent recession. In contrast, having a stakeholder orientation considers the interests of customers, employees, suppliers, the community and even the environment, along with shareholders, to yield optimum value for all.

  • Conscious Leadership:

Conscious Leaders are the people who drive change and transformation.  They are the high impact visionaries who create a Conscious Culture and inspire their organizations to achieve their Higher Purpose while balancing the needs of all their Stakeholders. There are specific characteristics and capabilities which distinguish these Leaders, and we will discuss them in more detail in next week’s Power Idea.

  • Conscious Culture:

The beliefs, values and practices of an organization make up its Culture; and the Culture of a Conscious Business revolves around its Higher Purpose and supports a Stakeholder Orientation.  Conscious Cultures are characterized by trust, accountability, caring, transparency, integrity, loyalty and egalitarianism, and they require a management approach that is based on collaboration, empowerment and decentralization.

Conscious Companies such as Southwest Airlines, Costco and The Container Store have some common attributes. They attract loyal customers who literally love them; they recruit and retain engaged employees; they partner with high quality suppliers; and they generate goodwill in their communities.  They also enjoy quantifiable results such as sustained sales growth, lower costs and higher profits.  Operating as a Conscious Company doesn’t guarantee success, but it does provide a compelling model for business owners and leaders who aspire to not only drive financial performance, but also to have a positive impact on the world.

Be sure to watch for next week’s Power Idea as we take a closer look at what it means to be a Conscious Leader and how to develop those qualities and behaviors.  In the meantime, please contact us at with your questions or comments.  And remember, we are always happy to set up a complimentary, one-hour consultation to assist with your leadership development or other organizational needs.