What is conscious leadership anyway, and does it matter?
There are actually three types of leadership: conscious, unconscious and anti-conscious.
Let's start with the all too common type. Leaders who are status and power hungry, who strive to build an empires and love office politics. Those who work long hours and neglect their health and their families. This is the anti-conscious leader.
The culture of an anti-conscious leader is of good versus bad, right versus wrong. Diverse points of view are not tolerated and possibilities are limited. They are typically autocratic and seek to control everything.
The focus on competition as a means to their own ends, rather than collaboration for the betterment of all. Unsurprisingly, the environment around such a leader is toxic and driven by fear and insecurity.
The next type is also common: the unconscious leader. These leaders have usually been appointed to the position and often have a good technical understanding of the system. They are skilled at providing consistency, following rules, maintaining the status quo and cultivating order in the organisation, and are often risk-shy.
The culture of an unconscious leader is characterised by hierarchical power structures, a strong emphasis on quality and process and are very busy with being busy. They have a general unawareness of what is influencing decisions, actions and a general lack of creativity.
They are seeking more in life, home and work, but are unsure what or how to effect change. The environment around such leaders ranges from mildly irritating to excessively boring, frustrating and stressful, depending on your point of view.
The third type – the conscious leader – is the rarest but has the greatest impact on the world. These leaders are creative innovators who transcend limited circumstances to realise undreamt of possibilities. They maximise opportunities and work easily with risk. They are willing and capable of seeing the big picture from all angles at the same time.
The culture of a conscious leader is characterised by integrity, trust, creativity, intuition, innovation, freedom, flexibility and generosity. They operate harnessing trust rather than control, truth rather than fear, equality rather than privilege, and unity rather than fragmentation.
Conscious leaders are comfortable with change and their point of view shifts constantly and without judgement. They listen to and extract from a diverse range of views, thereby increasing opportunities and possibilities.
They know that change is inevitable and the only constant, and seek it for a purpose, for the better. Unsurprisingly, the environment around such a leader is electric. They are the innovators and leaders history remembers.
What works for you?
There is no right or wrong leadership style; there is only choice. So now you some of the styles, which do you prefer?
Ask yourself does your leadership currently contribute the way you'd like it to, to your business, family, health and well-being, and more broadly to Korea's and the planet?
Does it produce the results you'd like in terms of economic, political, and environmental safety, security and prosperity?
And of course, does it provides an enjoyable and rewarding environment in which to work?
If your answer is no to any of these questions, then start asking questions about what it would take to create the changes you'd like to see.
Korean companies are famous for changing their management styles and transforming dynamically to stay ahead of the rest of the world.
Can you imagine what they could achieve if they all chose to lead consciously? The possibilities seem infinite.
This article is a revised version of the original article published 2 June 2010, Korea Times