Conscious Leadership

This month I have found myself reflecting on a range of complex professional situations from a “theatre in action” perspective. Each of these situations has required me to grow.  I am simultaneously feeling challenged, inspired and excited by the complexity, urgency, potential volatility and uncertainty of the situations that surround and involve me.  I am observing myself needing to take my perceptions and awareness to the next level.  As I observe this I keep coming back to action-logic stages and Einstein’s statement that we cannot solve the problems of the world with the same level of thinking that created them.

If I consider these situations and issues from the transformational and alchemical action-logic stages of cognition the focus is on the interplay of awareness, thought, action and effects –for transforming ourselves and, as a result, others.

The implication for leadership is about integrating polarities for transformation that include:

  • material/spiritual,
  • immediate/long-term,
  • personal/societal.

To do this we need to engage in continual inquiry and listening amidst action and moment to moment consciousness. This takes unconditional responsibility and an understanding that to be part of the solution we have to be part of the problem.  This is about being authentic, vigilant and vulnerable.  It is about commiting to develop transformational habits and values to generate personal and organisational transformations.  This requires compassion, commitment, connectivity, calmness and clarity from which we make our choices.  The more conscious we become the more we can exercise discernment in our choices.  Kaufman compares destructive unconsciousness with constructive consciousness.


Unconscious Business V Conscious Business
Unconscious Attitudes Conscious Attitudes
Unconditional blame

Essential selfishness

Ontological arrogance

Unconditional responsibility

Essential integrity

Ontological humility

Unconscious Behaviours Conscious Behaviours
Manipulative communication

Narcissistic negotiation

Negligent coordination

Authentic communication

Constructive negotiation

Impeccable negotiation

Unconscious Reactions Conscious reactions
Emotional incompetence Emotional mastery

When we integrate this consciousness into our way of being we are truly leading. When we find peace in ourselves, live our truth, and stay in our heart, life with all its competing complexities, uncertainty and chaos, is much easier.

Posted in On Leadership