Blog – The Conscious Leader Series2021-06-13T18:18:30+00:00

Welcome to The Conscious Leader  Series!

THE MAXIMS in this series are my attempts to reach into the wisdom tradition of the ancient sages and apply the direct seeing of things as they are to the modern leadership context.

This entire series of 52 posts is also available as an eBook on Amazon, or you can order a printed version! Click here for more information.

The Conscious Leader : #01 Paradox

The conscious leader tolerates paradox.

She has learned that light is both particle and wave, and shows up as one or the other according to what the observer wants to see. In the same way, she has seen that people can find evidence and references to support any argument. They see what they want to see, and it’s true for them.

Therefore, she knows that when opponents fight to be right, they are both right—and that one person being right does not make the other wrong. She knows that reality itself is paradoxical, and so the biggest mistake human beings make is black-and-white, either-or thinking.

She accepts that her job is to manage the paradox and find what works, what’s relevant, what matters. She knows that appeasement, and finding the middle ground, may or may not be the answer. Sometimes you just have to make a call.

The conscious leader embraces paradox and so always finds the answer that is right.

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By |Conscious Leader Series|

The Conscious Leader : #02 Danger

The conscious leader embraces danger.

He knows that life is inherently dangerous, so he welcomes it, by embracing every change and every challenge. When it’s not there, he begins to grow restless, for he knows that the real danger is to fall asleep.

He has observed that complacency is the biggest danger, because that’s when surprises happen. That’s when the high and mighty get knocked off their pedestal.

If there is no danger, the conscious leader creates it by setting himself a challenge that is outside his comfort zone. He knows that problems are inevitable, so rather creates his own by setting challenging goals. In this way, there is danger and it is willingly embraced.

He knows that in order to feel alive he must risk something, that life is best lived at the frontier between risk and reward.

The conscious leader manages risk by pushing himself into the danger zone.

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By |Conscious Leader Series|

The Conscious Leader : #03 People

The conscious leader focuses on people.

She knows that while numbers drive efficiency, they do not talk about experience; and when the experience is right, the numbers will inevitably follow.

She has seen that when accountants are let loose, you get too many tables (in the restaurant) and not enough cooks; you get cheap cutlery, and fake flowers, because you can’t put a number on ambience. You also get staff who don’t care quite as much.

She accepts that numbers provide useful information, but should not drive every decision; when staff are just numbers, or the servants of numbers, then care—and therefore quality—suffers; when quality suffers, the numbers will ultimately follow.

She is confident that by caring for her team and giving her customers the right experience, she will achieve the numbers.

The conscious leader keeps an eye on the numbers, and cares for the human experience.

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By |Conscious Leader Series|

The Conscious Leader : #04 Patience

The conscious leader practices patience.

She knows that nothing lasts forever, and that good things come to those who wait.

She has learned that the whole universe, from its tiniest vibrating quantum particles to its pulsating galaxies, moves in waves. She has observed, for herself, that waves ride on tides.

She has seen that pain, like joy, comes in waves. Similarly, success, achieving targets, being organized, being on top of things, feeling connected, feeling inspired, all of these things come in waves, and tides.

When any of these things are not present, she does not grow impatient, or panic and decide that something is wrong. She also does not slack off or give up. She continues as normal, knowing that the tide is just out—and she waits. She knows that good times and hard times are seasons that will pass.

The conscious leader knows that patience is her best friend, especially in hard times.

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The Conscious Leader : #05 Flexibility

The conscious leader is firm, and knows when to be flexible.

He has noticed that trees stand strong for centuries only because they can flex in the storm. He knows that skyscrapers are built with flexible steel to survive the high winds they must endure. And cars are made safer with crumple zones.

He accepts that life and other people, and forces beyond the realm of your awareness, will inevitably blow across your path like winds, and if you behave like the tree that cannot flex, you will snap. Life will inevitably break you.

Experience has shown him that holding to your rules without exception, without sway, requires force, and force is the opposite of flow. He figures that when you are inflexible with life, life is inflexible with you; when you show no mercy, life shows you no mercy. It’s a fair deal.

The conscious leader remains committed to his word and yet knows when to yield, and show mercy.

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The Conscious Leader : #06 Intrinsic Rewards

The conscious leader gives in secret, and praises with silence.

He does not need to take credit for everything he does, nor give his team credit for every single thing they do.

He has heard people say that by not praising a child for every single thing he or she does, you let them find out what it is to do something for its own sake. They learn to do things for their own intrinsic reward, and not for praise, or trophies.

He knows that when people are motivated by the need for praise, he is on a slippery slope, for no amount is ever enough. Or, if it is, it’s not for long. Soon the stakes will have to be raised.

He has learned that when money is in the conversation, it’s often because the intrinsic rewards have been forgotten, or are being taken for granted. His job is first to connect people to those, and then see what remains.

The conscious leader embodies his belief in the power of intrinsic rewards by doing more than is asked of him, and telling no-one.

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