Leadership... It’s one of the most aspired terms in business but it’s also one of the hardest to put into practise. Ever since the publication of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s scientific management theory, everyone from academics to business leaders have put forward their thinking on what makes ‘good’ leadership.
Recently, Brenda Lee, Practice Director attended the HR Game Changer conference and she shares with us a key leadership topic from the day, ‘Conscious Leadership’.
So what is Conscious Leadership?
To be a conscious leader means that you are actively looking to align people’s hearts and minds with the organisation’s vision and values. It is about caring for people, not just a number and it is about bringing a more humanistic and holistic approach to the forefront in the way which manager’s work with their team to achieve a common goal.
In a world where technologies are heavily relied upon to connect humans together, it is quite ironic that there is such a significant movement towards consciousness and mindfulness in the corporate environment. It is especially interesting when combined with the predicted characteristics of Workforce 2020. Much research has been conducted about the workforce of 2020 and what it is that they value in their work life; a much more balanced approach to work/ life, working for a purpose and less emphasis on traditional top down structures are just some of the key headlines. Being mindful of the types of workers which are joining the workforce tomorrow, a higher emphasis on connectivity, spirituality and personalisation will certainly help with aligning a worker’s personal value with the company’s purpose and cause. It also makes good business sense if this means that it translates to higher staff retention, higher performance and more committed employees.
When is conscious leadership at its most powerful?
There is obviously a strong (and well justified) case for conscious leadership but it only highlights one half of the story. Conscious leadership will be at its most powerful when practised with the support of some of the more traditional management instruments such as data, reporting and strategic planning. Human nature is emotional, subjective and opinion based. Traditional management instruments provide us with data points which enable us to analyse the situation with more objectivity and make much more informed decisions. Conscious leadership, is about leveraging off this information, humanising it for others and ensuring that decisions are made with the emotional wellbeing of your people in the front of mind. The balancing act is delicate but if organisations want to excel in the future, it is a balancing act which all leaders need to strive to perfect.
What do think about ‘conscious leadership’ and whether HR and business leaders should be adopting it?
Related posts: How can we prepare for workforce 2020?