In the last blog, I wrote about what it means to be authentic in both life and in business. In this article, I will expand on the idea, talking about the conscious business leader.
“Living consciously is a state of being mentally active rather than passive. It is the ability to look at the world through fresh eyes. It is intelligence taking joy in its own function. Living consciously is seeking to be aware of everything that bears on our interests, actions, values, purposes and goals. It is the willingness to confront facts, pleasant or unpleasant. It is the desire to discover our mistakes and correct them… It is the quest to keep expanding our awareness and understanding, both of the world external to self and of the world within.”
~ Nathaniel Branden
Many of us go through part of every day unconsciously. Ever been in the car driving somewhere, you arrive at your destination and you can’t remember the actual trip to get there? We call that being on “auto-pilot”. We say that experience is like “being asleep at the wheel”.
Sometimes when that happens, we get a little scared. What if something went wrong and we didn’t react in time, because our mind was somewhere else?
In a broader sense, unconsciousness can relate to choices we make. Being on “auto-pilot” with our choices means that we are motivated by old patterns. We are stuck in a rut, so to speak.
The kind of consciousness that Nathaniel Branden describes above is more comprehensive. It’s a deeper level of consciousness that often includes several layers.
- perceive our world (inside and out)
- understand the circumstances
- decide how to respond
Each conscious decision we make is profoundly affected by our values. If something goes against our principles, we reject it.
In the business world, consciousness also affects the decisions we make and the experiences we have. If we value the well-being of the company’s stakeholders, we use both scientific and moral reasoning in order to come to a good decision. People are viewed with caring and respect. That includes both our colleagues and our customers. We try to understand them and support them however we can. We foster an atmosphere of peace and happiness for all individuals.
A less conscious leadership style is often more authoritarian. Employees are considered “human resources” – not individuals. Decisions are made based on “data”, without consideration for the human element. And those decisions are often made quickly rather than thoughtfully.
The world is changing. More and more companies recognize that their leaders need to have both a high level of technical expertise, combined with a high level of consciousness. If the leaders are not paying attention – if they are “asleep at the wheel” – they cannot achieve greatness. They might not even survive.
Watch this short video, “Discover the Four Questions of Conscious Leadership”, provided by The Conscious Leadership Group.