What is Conscious Leadership? Leading with Purpose!
Conscious leaders recognize the importance of having a purpose in both their personal life and professional lives. Any good leader coming into a new company culture focuses very quickly—not just on hard work and profit margin, but on determining “What is the purpose of this company?” In fact, they should know that purpose long before they even come through the front door because they’re going to have to come in and hit the ground running.
Why is knowing a company’s purpose important? Well, once you know what the purpose is, you know how to prioritize. You understand what kinds of goals to set. You grasp the conscious culture that needs to be supported and the decision-making process to get there. And once a leader knows these things it means they can begin to see who is a good fit for which roles and how to play to the strengths of team members and employees.
Beyond the status quo
When nobody knows where they’re going or what they’re doing or how they’re doing it, it’s a little bit like the Headless Horseman charging around creating confusion, constantly reacting to external factors. But once you have a clear purpose and understand an organization’s structure, you can lead in a way that creates enough weight to start pulling people out of lethargy and confusion and onto a defined path. You can inspire people to develop greater emotional intelligence and get them excited about personal growth within the company culture. And don’t you know people love nothing more than clarity and a good game to play with others!
So, a really good leader creates a good game around purpose, finds out what’s in it for every single member of their team, and points out a new and different way beyond the status quo of “business as usual.” This is good systemic leading or leadership 101.
Creation not reaction
Those who assume a leadership position are expected to be more responsible, more insightful, cleverer, and more inspirational than most people. Ideally, they are a self-aware leader with a high level of emotional intelligence and a sense of social responsibility beyond traditional leadership models.
Unfortunately, without knowing about the need for purpose and how purpose drives the organization of an organization, many new leaders quite often end up floundering at the starting point. And this is often an unconscious extension of how they were raised as young people in their own homes and educational settings.
Most people navigate life pretty unconsciously in their personal lives, reacting to people and situations, playing out self-limiting beliefs rather than coming from their true self and a more grounded, purposeful, creative position. This habit of unconscious reaction versus creation has far-reaching consequences, bleeding over into many areas of their lives including their professional lives.
A good leader doesn’t just “happen.” Conscious leadership arises when we begin to mindfully consider every aspect and element of our lives on a day-to-day basis. It happens when we’re ready to take radical responsibility for personal growth and start acting out of our true self.
At that point, our grounded creative, purposeful way of interacting with others and making choices naturally draws us into opportunities where our leadership qualities can shine and our hard work and good example help build a better world for all.
Start your mindful leadership adventure
Conscious leadership is a deliberate decision. It is a commitment to developing ourselves at work and in our personal relationships in our daily lives. In the business world, it is a commitment to developing a money-follows-value mindset, thereby inspiring those around us.
It asks a lot of us—nothing less than a full awareness of the self—which includes being present, engaging a conscious decision-making process, validating the positions and thoughts of others while inspiring greater emotional intelligence, movement and growth.
Mindful leadership happens when we deliberately turn to the highest form of who we are—our true self. And it doesn’t always have to take the form of actively promoting effective leadership approaches focused on things like leadership development and social responsibility in one’s team members. It can be something as simple as a kind act, an invitation, a smile, or a helping hand.
The far-reaching consequences of kindness and compassion—especially if you bear an important professional title—cannot be overstated. Sometimes giving a genuine smile is the single most beneficial thing you can do for someone. It’s a powerful tool. Which means you don’t have to hire a leadership coach to develop potent leadership skills. It’s actually the little things that form the core elements of conscious leadership. And those things—the encouraging nod, the casual offer of assistance, the genuine compliment—you can practice and build upon, day by day on your own.
This conscious awareness and attention to sometimes the smallest things can be developed in anybody—which is why you’ll often hear me say, “Everybody is a leader, whether they know it or not.” In those moments when we reach out in compassion and empathy, we take a position of mindful leadership. When we come from our hearts and from our highest level of intent—to put it bluntly, we are purposefully making powerful magic. Coming from the space of genuine concern and consideration for others, our thoughts, feelings, words and actions have an incredibly positive impact and go a long way towards helping develop the better world we all long to live in.
Leaders become leaders when they arrive at the starting point, which is: An awareness that there is more to life than just whatever is there in front of them. When they gain that awareness and make the conscious decision to explore that “something more,” they begin to move out of the status quo of reactionary thinking and unconscious action. As their level of self-awareness increases, they develop the belief that they can do and become even more. Thus encouraged, they then set out to make personal growth happen. When they make that conscious choice, self-limiting beliefs begin to drop away.
At that point, growth momentum and awareness of the self increases and just keeps on increasing. They may not have consciously set out to become a leader, let alone a mindful one, but they end up embodying all the natural traits of a more conscious leader all the same. Then their good example begins to attract leadership opportunities. And as they step into those opportunities, life experiences reveal to them their expanded capacities for mindful leadership and their personal growth expands even more. It’s really a fluid, self-fulfilling, highly-rewarding upward cycle once the starting point is reached!
So, remember: When you decide to stop sitting there wondering when the right opportunity is going to magically arrive on your doorstep and change life your life for the better, and you start taking personal responsibility for creating and directing your own adventure, you’re going to find there is more to life than whatever is currently in front of you. When that happens and your level of self-awareness begins to increase, you will find your purpose. At the very least you will find the starting point for your purpose.
That’s when magic actually does happen! The self-leadership light will spark and ignite your passion. And that’s the beginning of the awakening leader in you. Where self-leadership will take you doesn’t matter. It might take you into completely different circumstances. You may find yourself at the helm of a thriving business. You may find your personal life becoming more fulfilling. Perhaps the single most beneficial thing that happens is you become a happier, healthier human being. You may find yourself speaking at conscious leadership conferences.
It doesn’t matter. What matters is the true you is showing up and leading the show at last!
Be the leader you were born to be
If you want a better world, you are where it begins. And if the idea of stepping into a leadership role in your life scares you, stop and think: Who else in your family is (or was) a conscious leader? Or are you the first? Did your family members struggle with asserting themselves? Were they suppressed? Were your parents unavailable (emotionally and/or physically.) Were they reactive rather than creative in tough situations? Please know that when we are not available it is often because we are in fear and then we become emotionally triggered and reactive. Perhaps they were too fearful to be conscious leaders.
Can you break that cycle? It takes just one person to choose to do it differently. Here are some things you can do to begin building your conscious leadership:
- Who did you inspire today, including yourself? Keep written track daily!
- When last did you congratulate yourself for doing something good?
- Did you take a moment today to notice all the good things that happened? Did you give others and yourself credit?
- Notice when you are unnerved or unsettled how best you can self-sooth and remain calm.
- Note each time you do something kind for yourself.
- Write down the number of times in a day you make someone smile. (Other than yourself!)
These are all things that those big inspirational leaders do—making a difference just by making a little magic. Keep doing these things and watch the compounding effect as the inspirational leader becomes you.
To find out more about how to grow your leadership, attend one of our events this year! For more information about my 2024 events click here.