What is a conscious leader?

What is a conscious leader?

Conscious leadership is a relatively new term (for example it hasn’t made it into Wikipedia yet) but it is founded in exploring what make us human beings. Recently, there has been a ground swell of conversation in the area. These are some of the modern day ideas on how to define the term:

“A conscious leader is someone who leads with conscious awareness. Conscious awareness is a process of recognizing what is going on inside and out, the effects of decisions and actions, and the interaction between a complex array of factors and forces. It is a powerful tool for transcending unconscious patterns, fostering an expanded perspective and openness to new possibilities.”

Jeff Klein

“Conscious leaders are keenly aware of the essential interconnectedness of all life. Further, conscious leaders are vision driven. Their mission and philosophies are built on the view that each of us has a personal obligation to serve a greater purpose. We are each on Earth to contribute to the greater good, both in how we manage business and conduct our lives. There is a personal and spiritual aspect to this particular type of leadership because it connects you with other people at a much deeper core level. Because of this, it requires more of you than has ever been required from our leaders. The new model of effective leadership demands that you evaluate the purpose of your business; more importantly, it requires that you dig deeper and ask, “What purpose does my life serve?”

JV Crum


The Human Leaders believe that a new generation of conscious leaders is needed in the world and is pioneering a new programme of conscious leadership workshops.


“The world is in crisis. It needs people who have the skill to combine inner power with outer action. The quality of your awareness will directly affect the quality of the results you produce.”

Desmond Tutu

To achieve conscious awareness, it is necessary to understand yourself at a deep level. A leader must have a strong desire and commitment to undertaking the work involved to achieve this awareness. The process of becoming a conscious leader takes time and cannot be taught in a single workshop or even in a weeklong training course. The work that is needed requires time, reflection and practice. However, the benefits of undertaking such work are plentiful.

What are the rewards of conscious leadership?

Becoming a conscious leader means to open your heart and uncover the meaning of your life. Conscious leaders report a high level of personal fulfilment in their work and lives. Meaning is linked to happiness and so conscious leaders are also amongst the happiest individuals in the world.

The clarity that is linked to conscious awareness brings about higher levels of productivity as you are able to operate in a ‘flow state’ more frequently. This means that you can achieve more in less time and be free to spend more time at leisure or choose to deliver a greater impact than you had been able to before.

The resulting factor of increased fulfilment and productivity is greater confidence. Conscious leaders have a high degree of self-esteem, which is internally accessed and therefore less likely to be influenced either positively or negatively by external factors.

The ability to inspire others is another powerful trait of the conscious leader. As a result of their inner confidence, they are more able to serve those around them. The energy of a conscious leader is of a level that can influence those around them without the need even for conversation. When directly involved in supporting and motivating others, conscious leaders can be incredibly powerful coaches.

The reason that conscious leaders are so desperately needed in the world today is their courage and desire to take responsibility. Being able to not only think independently but also to behave in a way that is likely to be different from the norm is an antidote to crowd psychology, which can be very damaging within organisations and society.

Conscious awareness leads to an innate ability and desire to value difference, which is harnessed through empathy and compassion. Within organisations and society this leads to greater harmony and collaboration, a valuable tool in the ongoing fight for equality.

How can conscious awareness be achieved?

There are a number of things that a leader must do to achieve conscious awareness. There is no magic pill and no one formula but here are some of steps to take:

  1. Take time to reflect

Meditation and yoga are really valuable tools for this but it can also be achieved through setting aside time to think and breathe.

  1. Look after your whole self

It is critically important to look after your physical, emotional and spiritual self. Don’t spend time with people who hurt you, eat well, exercise regularly and take time to explore your heart’s desires.

  1. Live lightly

The lighter you hold your dreams and goals, the less they will weigh you down. The best way to nurture a light life is to play, explore creativity and have fun.

  1. Tell the truth

Telling the truth doesn’t only mean that you should be honest with those around you. First and foremost it means being honest with yourself.

  1. Be gracious

Consider what it is you have to be grateful for and behave in a way that is gracious.

  1. Listen deeply

Pay more attention to listening than to talking and you will not only learn and grow yourself but those around you will also flourish.

  1. Love

Love is a powerful emotion that can heal, inspire and comfort. Learn to love and receive love in your life.

If you want to join the conversation, follow The Human Leaders on twitter and facebook or join the ResponsiveLeaders meetup group: