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Developing Leaders: Conscious Leadership
Posted: 11/5/2010 | Leadership Comments
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Many of us think about leaders as those other people who are highly visible, maybe famous, possibly CEO’s or politicians we see on TV or read about. We often think they must be far more qualified than we are or they wouldn’t be in such a powerful position. Or, maybe there are people we know of who are less visible in the public eye, such as bosses, clergy or other authority figures, but still characterize how we define a leader.

Leadership and leading has been described in many ways. According to the book Business by William M. Pride, Robert J. Hughes, Jack R. Kapoor, 2009, “leading is the process of influencing people to work toward a common goal.” According to Answers.com, another way to think about leading and leadership is “persons of authority; the capacity to guide or inspire others.” 

Seeing leaders as those other people places us at a distance from being leaders ourselves and might put us in the one down position. From this way of thinking it is hard to see and embody our own power. The result of this could even encourage our avoidance of exploring our stuck places that impede us from reaching our greatness.

Or could it be that you already see yourself as a leader? What does that mean to you? Do you feel calmly empowered on a daily basis or more like an imposter just waiting to be found out? Maybe you’re somewhere in between these two.

Whether we know it or not, from the largest perspective, everyone is a leader. Everyday we are the president of our own lives and our own destinies. We are always setting an example and influencing others in every interaction.

Developing leadership by being awake and deciding to lead consciously moves us toward living from our highest choices. If we choose to listen to our wise voice inside that expresses those deeper possibilities, we can live from our greatness and inspire others to do so as well. Innately, we have the ability to connect with this fundamental level of ourselves and live out our life’s purpose.

There are ways that it might help us to think about our own leadership and foster the coming forth of our very best. Living and leading from this voice of a deeper connection, which we could call conscious leadership, includes high authenticity, integrity, maturity and humility. Action taken from conscious leadership will honor the truth of everyone involved.

The old leadership paradigm has often encouraged winning friends and influencing people with subtle and not so subtle manipulation and coercion. It is based on the “power-over” model. The leader is often unquestioned and dominating. The atmosphere is fear-based and competitive, reinforcing scarcity, demanding one to always have the right answers and enforcing unreasonable expectations. From their un-integrated ego challenges, this kind of leader attempts to present infallibility and often seeks adoration and glorification.

However, there is another kind of conscious enlightening leadership that shows a different promise. It supports cooperation, empowerment and collaboration, as well as inspires others to do their best and grow their talents. It encourages an atmosphere of the highest vision, passion and aspiration, and demonstrates win/win. These kinds of leaders can see how all may profit; all may be challenged to their razor’s edge and all may be fulfilled. This mutuality helps everyone develop as people in their daily lives and in their work as leaders.

True conscious enlightening leadership requires the leaders to continually walk the rigorous path of self discovery and true empowerment. It takes courage, dedication, a committed level of self-reflection and intimacy with one’s self. This leader shows compassion beyond their own self interest together with skillfulness in navigating their own thoughts and feelings and demonstrates the ability to be vulnerable.  They are curious and open to the ideas and comments of others, allowing creativity to flourish.

As conscious enlightening leaders we continue growing and learning so as not to fall prey to our own unhealed egos. Otherwise, we run the risk of riding the emotional rollercoaster of people’s opinions, being seduced into believing the projections and fantasies of peers, employees, students, and even bosses. If we choose to live a conscious life and be a conscious enlightening leader, we must hold our toes to the fire by challenging our self distortions. This can include our lack of knowledge, playing on the weaknesses of others, our greed and our never fulfilled hungry ghost of wanting more and more, sometimes at the expense of others.

This kind of guidance and leadership allows for an enthusiastic, creative, and innovative atmosphere that inspires everyone to be and do their best. Trail blazing from authenticity, integrity, maturity and humility unearths and liberates everyone’s pent up magnificence.

A synergistic combination of setting the intention and holding a cohesive vision creates unbounded possibilities. Congruence within the leader becomes foundational and sets the tone for everyone and every connection. Self responsibility is viscerally mentored with clarity and integrity. You can then imagine how outrageously effective any business, company or organization can be when it’s being led consciously.

And what does that mean for us? Conscious leadership is a path that leads to living a powerful, mature, genuine, compassionate, humble and happy life.

I would love to hear your comments, so please submit them below.


Sangeeta       Posted: 11/7/2010 3:33:59 AM

Excellent article...I believe that conscious leadership is the way to go for everyone-whether a woman, man or child...its time..
I am inspired by your website.

Katiegoode       Posted: 11/9/2010 3:48:51 PM

What an inspiring post. Such a simple shift in thinking, but it opens up huge possibilities.

Samsung Soul        Posted: 12/25/2010 8:08:04 AM

I enjoy reading a lot and your stories are worth reading, nice blog, keep it up.

Braun rasierer        Posted: 12/28/2010 7:26:43 PM

very use full information. thank you.

Diario Extra        Posted: 12/31/2010 9:35:13 PM

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looney tunes baby       Posted: 1/19/2011 7:55:28 AM

Truly inspiring, touching and moving true stories. Every human being is a bunch of different life stories. Let us keep knowing and learning.

bucknell university       Posted: 1/19/2011 12:55:17 PM

The stories are like reflections of what I am going through in my life¡­and these did make me realize my mistakes and what steps do I need to take.

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