The definition for conscious is ‘being aware of and having knowledge of something, and responding to one’s surroundings’. In this sense consciousness depends on two things. Being aware of and increasing knowledge of self by pushing our own boundaries; and being aware of having knowledge about how our surroundings interact. A high level of consciousness makes visible interconnections in the system we live or work in. Increasing consciousness of the whole system improves the way we act in our home and working life.
From a leadership perspective consciousness indicates that we need to learn to first lead the self before we can lead others. Hence, this type of leadership is not defined to leadership roles. However, this is where we would expect to see it most. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many survey results highlight mediocrity in leadership and management, talent leaving managers not organisations, and corporate or political corruption and unethical behaviour. There are a few very visible role models such as the late Nelson Mandela or Richard Branson. Yet they rarely talk about their own journey to more consciousness.
Developing consciousness does not occur overnight, in a course or residential program. These help develop awareness and knowledge. However, conscious leadership is an evolutionary process and about personal mastery. And personal mastery takes time, practice and patience. At times it is a struggle, a conflict with what we think is reality, terrifying in letting go and a constant tightrope walk on the edge of our comfort zone. So if you like your comfort, familiarity, don’t want to think about the future, and accept fears as part of your life, then you are not ready for conscious leadership.
Many people develop towards this conscious leadership because of a significant life event. But most of us do so out of an inner urge that there is more to life than what is currently available. For those it is important to recognise the situation or the urge. If you don’t recognise this as a part of your growth and development then personal mastery of consciousness can become a very lonely and drawn out journey.
I hope this is about to change. More and more programs and help is available. You are invited to find out more about conscious leadership during a webinar. Join me from 12 – 1pm on Tuesday 25 November. Click on the date to register. See you there.