Conscious Leadership

Last year I was interviewed by Gina Hayden for her new book that has just been published. It’s called “Becoming a Conscious Leader” – she sees me as one such leader. The book contains a number of quotes from our interview which I have grouped into four themes.

(1) Seeing the bigger picture: How should success be defined in the modern organisation?

(2) Building a network of relationships and generating synchronicity – a concept that I called business karma

(3) Building a genuinely inclusive environment to get better results.

(4) Leading teams through periods of ambiguity by honest and open engagement with teams.

I will be producing a short blog on each of these four themes over the coming weeks but in the meantime I would like to congratulate Gina on an excellent piece of work which has drawn together the thoughts of a number of leaders who approach things differently from the traditional narrow focus on short term financial objectives, authoritarian and hierarchical (and sometimes somewhat egotistical) leadership styles and non-diverse people practices.

The book comes at a time where people are questioning the success of the capitalist model which has done so much to foster growth yet has failed to distribute the benefits of that growth equitably and created the global financial crisis.

The idea of conscious capitalism challenges business to satisfy a wider range of stakeholders rather than just their shareholders. This means leaders having to operate in a much more complex environment and address issues such as climate change, paying fair amounts of tax, more equitable sharing of the profits including paying the living wage, more modern people related practices and putting something back into the communities in which they operate. Failure to address these issues wI’ll lead to a loss of legitimacy with the public that businesses cannot afford. Success in this new, more complex and more political, world will require a new kind of leader.

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