Beyond Conscious Leadership

The concept of “Conscious Leadership” is rightfully gaining interest among many leaders in today’s rapidly changing environments. But like most newly emerging paradigms, there can often be some confusion as to what this new leadership approach actually represents. So, let’s move beyond any potentially self-limiting interpretations of this deeper expression of leadership.

If you do a search on the various definitions of Conscious Leadership, you will of course see a variety of perspectives on what this concept represents. Yet, most of the definitions and applications of this concept are either unnecessarily confusing or lack sufficient clarity in the application elements of Conscious Leadership. When you read many of the perspectives on Conscious Leadership, you will often see this sort of ambiguous wordplay or the interchanging of related concepts, such as, “Conscious Leadership is leading with awareness.” Okay… uh, thanks for that. Or, “Conscious leaders work to support other’s growth while also growing the organization.” Once again, this is obviously a good thing but it provides no real clarity about the key drivers of Conscious Leadership. So, let’s explore this concept a little more deeply; to bring some needed clarity to the concept of Conscious Leadership; so that we can begin to apply this in a very real way to our current challenges.

Let’s start by understanding the foundational meaning of Conscious Leadership by breaking it down from a functional perspective. From a practical standpoint, Consciousness could be viewed as all that we are able to perceive and experience as a human species. Consciousness or the field of Consciousness is sort of like our common playground as human beings. And it represents all of the various places or perspectives that we can possibly explore and come from, both positive and negative. From this perspective, we are already “Conscious Leaders” to some degree.

But let’s take this exploration a little deeper into the mechanics of where the concept of Conscious Leadership is attempting to point us. In order to perceive and understand what is available to us in the immense field of Consciousness, we must utilize our Awareness. Our Awareness is essentially our clarity of perception, or our faculty for perceiving and understanding internal and external stimuli. And, it is our level or degree of Awareness that allows us to reach out and explore the field of Consciousness. It is our Awareness that becomes the limiting or liberating factor in our ability to perceive the deeper realities of our experience in the world, or our experience in Consciousness. It is our Awareness that we can more directly work with and influence to create a more expanded experience in life, and to become a more Conscious Leader.

It is our individual Awareness or our Awareness Quotient then, that is the linchpin to our personal experience in life and leadership.

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Video Interview: Conscious Leadership Conversations

I want to thank Stephane LeBlanc, Founder and CEO of The International Center for Conscious Leadership for inviting me to take part in one of his Conscious Leadership Conversations. Please click the “continue reading” icon below or click here to view the video.

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A Deeper Dive into our Awareness Quotient (AQ)

Our AQ is basically the conceptual measure of the depth and breadth of our awareness. Well, what does that mean for us… and what are the benefits of growing our AQ? Let’s explore how we can utilize this driver of our perception and experience in life, for the betterment of our leadership and for those we serve.

In my previous blog I summarized the essential elements of our Awareness Quotient (AQ) and touched on the fact that our AQ is at the foundation of our experience in leadership and in life. We briefly explored how we can either directly or indirectly expand our AQ by involving ourselves in specific practices such as meditation or mindfulness, or by exposing ourselves to various perspectives and associating with people who are also committed to growing their AQ.

Now let’s dive a little deeper into this important topic and explore some of the practical elements of our more expanded AQ. We know from experience that there have been times in our lives when we were not able to see or understand all of the unintended consequences of our actions and choices. We have probably done some things that, when we look back on them from our present, more expanded perspective, we can clearly see that other options were available to us that we just couldn’t perceive at the time. This can be a very common experience for us.

So, at this most practical level of our perception and decision making, our AQ or our degree of awareness related to the key variables and the most likely outcomes of our decisions, is a key driver of our experience. Once again, we can see that it all starts and ends with our Awareness… and our AQ is the key determiner of our experience with everything in between.

This exploration can seem so simple and common sense that we can easily miss the critical nature and depth of possibility related to our AQ… and many of us do. Even after we have looked back on multiple occasions and witnessed the impact of our more limited awareness, many of us still take it for granted that we have complete clarity regarding our current circumstances. We almost can’t even imagine the possibility that we are not seeing and understanding everything we need to, in order to make the best decisions. Yet reality continues to show us many examples of where we have failed to identify key variables in a given situation, indicating that we have much more opportunity in this area.
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Exploring our Awareness Quotient (AQ)

Historically, people were praised and sought out based on their IQ (Intelligence Quotient). However, more recent research indicates that although IQ is an important element of our leadership capability, our EQ (Emotional Quotient) is perhaps even more important. But what is at the foundation of both of these… it’s our AQ .

Let’s explore! Essentially, our AQ is the conceptual measure of the depth and breadth of our Awareness. Our AQ could be inferred through…

  1. The depth and breadth of our perception and experience of our internal environment… our own mind, body and emotions in action… as well as that of others. Our ability to see our thoughts, words, emotions and actions as they emerge, and to perceive where they come from as well as their impacts.
  2. The depth and breadth of our perception and experience of our external environment. Our ability to perceive and understand the elements of our surroundings.
  3. The depth and breadth of our perception and experience with the integration of our internal and external environments. Our ability to perceive and experience the connection between our internal body, mind and emotions… and the elements of our surroundings (people and our creations, nature, social constructs, etc.).
  4. The depth and breadth of our perception and experience of the deeper purpose of life. Our understanding and connection with the fundamental source of our being and doing.

These are some of the key elements of our AQ, but there is always more. Our AQ represents all that we as an individual have access to within the entire field of human consciousness. It is the sum total of all of our perceptions and experiences, as well as and importantly, the meaning that we assign to these.

It should not be that hard for us to imagine how important our AQ is to our experience in life. It is our AQ that informs our understanding and drives our meaning making. It should also not be difficult for us to understand how our AQ influences our IQ and EQ. As our IQ and our EQ are part of the direct effect of our AQ. Continue reading “Exploring our Awareness Quotient (AQ)”

It All Starts with Our Awareness

It is our duty, responsibility and our privilege as a leader to continuously grow in our ability to serve others and our organizations, and The Awareness Quotient (AQ) Model was designed to support our exponential growth as a Leader. So, let’s jump right in.

It all… our entire experience in life, starts and ends with our awareness. This is just a basic universal principle. With limited awareness, we get limited perception and therefore our experience in life also becomes limited. And as we learn and grow and expand our perception, our experience also reflects this perspective. So, it would make sense that we should put some effort into continually and purposefully expanding our awareness. The challenge with this however, is that most of us are not taught what awareness really is, let alone how we can and should work to thoughtfully expand this. And then there is the confusion with related terms such as consciousness and attention and focus, etc.

Let’s clarify all of this in a way that we can begin to more immediately understand and utilize our understanding. Let’s start with the term Consciousness, since this is a word many of us might be familiar with, due to the increased use of the term “Conscious Leadership”. To me, the term Conscious Leadership is sort of a misnomer. To explore this further, Consciousness is more accurately the field of all of the perceptions and experience that are possible for us as human beings. Picture it as a really BIG ball, filled with tiny bubbles that represent all of the individual perceptions and experiences we can have as humans.

And our individual Awareness then, is the collection of perceptions and experiences that we, as an individual, have access to within this field of Consciousness. Picture our individual Awareness as a smaller ball that is inside the BIG ball of Consciousness. And the tiny bubbles contained within our smaller ball of Awareness represent the perceptions and experiences that we, as an individual, have access to. The unique shape of our individual ball of Awareness along with the collection of bubbles of perception within it represent a key part of our uniqueness as a human being.

But we are not finished yet. Within this smaller ball of our individual Awareness sits an even smaller ball represented by our Attention. Our Attention is like a video camera that we can point in our direction of choice. So, our ball of Attention contains a more discreet set of bubbles of perception that are within our ball of Awareness. Our Attention (our video camera) orients us  towards a specific set of perceptions and experiences that are available to us within our individual Awareness. Continue reading “It All Starts with Our Awareness”