Conscious Capitalism, Part 3: Becoming a More Conscious Leader

We hope you have enjoyed our last two installments of Power Ideas on Conscious Capitalism and what it means to be a Conscious Leader. Strategic Partner Diane Janovsky will wrap up our third and final Power Idea on this subject by identifying how to grow and develop your capabilities as a Conscious Leader. 

In the book, Conscious Capitalism, Conscious Leadership is described as “fully human leadership” that integrates Western efficiency with Eastern wisdom. Conscious Leaders possess a unique set of sensibilities and behaviors that differentiate them from other leaders.  They are able to bring out the best in people and sustainably grow their organizations because they themselves constantly strive to grow, learn and evolve on a personal level.
The authors of the book, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, believe the most important prerequisite in becoming a more Conscious Leader is to aspire to be one. If you aspire to be a Conscious Leader, here are some actions to take to nurture and expand your capability.
Find Your Personal Higher Purpose
Similar to how an organization must identify its Higher Purpose (one of the four tenets of Conscious Capitalism), so too must you identify your own Personal Higher Purpose.  It is the keystone in the foundation of Conscious Leadership. Finding it requires self-awareness and the courage to listen to your heart about what is meaningful.  You’ll know you are doing what you love when you feel high levels of energy, creativity and joy.  However, if you feel lethargic, stuck and unhappy, it is likely time to re-examine your heart and make a new choice.
Develop Your Emotional Intelligence
Although there are many aspects of behavior and personality that are believed to be set from birth, there are others that you can work to improve. Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which has increasingly been shown to strongly correlate with leadership success, is one of those.  Self-awareness and empathy are skills that you can develop, enabling you to more effectively master your emotions and improve your interactions with others.
Develop Your Systems Intelligence 
In an increasingly complex world, leaders must be able to comprehend and act upon multiple interactions and variables in order to achieve a desired outcome.  Systems Intelligence (SYQ) is what gives you the ability to visualize how various elements connect within a bigger picture.  To sharpen your SYQ, take a step back to expand your field of vision and intentionally notice the patterns and dynamics that are at play.  You can also look for parallels in other related disciplines such as ecology, which is the study of the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment.
Cultivate Higher Levels of Virtue and Consciousness 
Conscious Leaders must constantly grow and evolve positive virtues such as love, courage, integrity, compassion and forgiveness.  A number of studies validate the various ways in which people move to higher levels of consciousness.  In addition to the well-known “Hierarchy of Needs” by Abraham Maslow, you can consult the research by Clare Graves on the eight stages of values development; Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan on levels of ethics; or Jane Loevinger on nine levels of ego development.
Enablers to Learning and Growth
Personal growth is a journey and it can be a challenging and lonely road, especially for leaders.  To make it easier and more likely to be successful:
  • Build a foundation of physical and mental health. This includes attention to diet, exercise and sleep, and contemplative practices like yoga and meditation.
  • Identify role models whom you admire and wish to emulate.  They can be friends, family, colleagues, teachers or even historical figures.
  • Avail yourself of timeless wisdom.  Embrace and seek knowledge, from historical traditions to current technology.
  • Engage the help of a coach or mentor. They bring the benefit of experience and can provide accountability for you to take action when the going gets tough.
At HPISolutions, we are experts at delivering practical and effective leadership development through validated assessments, experiential learning and professional coaching. To learn more about Conscious Leadership or other performance improvement opportunities, please contact us at info@hpisolutions.com for a complimentary one hour consultation.


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