The short answer is that conscious leadership is what rises out of conscious awareness.
Conscious awareness refers to the process of seeing what is happening within and outside of oneself, the results of a person’s decisions and actions, as well as the interrelations between complex factors. By being consciously aware, you can understand patterns that would otherwise be unconscious, gain a wider viewpoint, and open up amazing opportunities.
Leadership is a process of motivating and enticing other people to band together in one direction to achieve something together. Leaders are the people who start this process and keep it going.
Conscious leaders are people who understand and lead from the more meaningful reason for their business and in a way that interconnects all stakeholders in their organization.
So, let’s look more closely at what all of this means.
Ask yourself from which place you lead:
- From a position of self-defense, with ego leading the way? OR
- From a calm, clear mind, with an open heart?
When we are not conscious, we live, act and lead based on the emotional reactions of a hurt ego, based on the fear or desire to be right and important, from a fight-or-flight mode of survival.
When we are conscious, we are aware of ourselves, from our thoughts to our emotions, and then we are consciously able to choose productive thoughts, empowering words, and accurate actions. We see the reality more clearly than we would otherwise.
All people have egos. You can’t get rid of your ego; it serves a purpose. The ego’s role is to define who we are, so we won’t wake up every morning feeling lost. The challenge is how to control ego, reprogram it, and make it an ally. We have an “observer” or conscious awareness that helps us to connect with inner wisdom and control the ego.
Human history plays out like a huge ego spun out of control. Humans have desired knowledge and power to accomplish goals of invasion, control, and manipulation. We have seen military, political, and religious leaders dominate society and reach inevitable lows.
To help avoid the damaging low points, ask yourself these questions as often as you can:
- Where am I know?
- Do I want to be right and appreciated for being right OR am I a curious observant with my goal being to find the best solution?
- Am I defending myself and self-critiquing OR am I self-accepting and choose to be my best authentic self?
- Am I totally stressed out and my energy level is so low that my primary task now is pure survival OR am I lit up and able to inspire others?
- Do I empower others or put them down?
- Am I chasing numbers only to win the numbers game OR do I take into consideration all short- and long-term consequences and choose the good for all stakeholders?
Conscious leadership has three ingredients:
- Emotional Intelligence
- Calm and strong mind
- Inner urge to make a difference in the world
In a highly intense, emotionally-charged situation when the ego is hurt, the natural instinct is to protect yourself. To respond in a healthy, productive way to your ego, try first become aware of what is going on inside of you. Acknowledge your emotions and thoughts, then stay curious and observant. If you stay in observation mode long enough, you might get surprised by the whole scene unfolding inside of you; it is an inner dialogue. Through this process, you will be able to find the empowering thoughts and right actions.
To coach yourself is to challenge yourself as to whether what you think is true and relevant to the current situation or perhaps is instead simply a default program or unconscious choice in the past that you still follow.
You can’t always be conscious, but you can be more conscious. You can strive to become more conscious with each day. See for yourself what profound wonders you can take from this conscious state of being when you become a leader first of all for yourself and then for others.