Week 4 – Conscious leadership in business

Consciousness hypothesis

”Consciousness, the awareness by the mind of itself and the world around it, is a powerful root cause of who we are. How we behave toward others and nature and why we act the way we do. Transforming our consciousness is the most effective tool we have for unlocking local and global change .” Tsao & Laszlo  – you may be interested in their excellent book https://www.waterstones.com/book/quantum-leadership/frederick-chavalit-tsao/chris-laszlo/9781503600331

To be a conscious leader requires that you speak with integrity, lead with authenticity, and hold yourself even more accountable than others. Conscious leaders are in tune with themselves and the world around them: listening, processing, understanding…and THEN reacting.

Some of the traits and skills of a conscious leader;

Generosity, Gratitude, Appreciation, Empathy, Compassion, Forgiveness

Emotional intelligence
Clear, aligned values
Leading with humility
Continual self improvement
Desire to drive social impact/value

Definitions that differentiate social impact from social value;

Social impact is fundamentally about isolating and measuring direct cause-and-effect relationships between a specific set of activities and outcomes.It lends itself to narrow definitions and controlled data capture.

Social value on the other hand is, at its core, cumulative. It is about weaving together a holistic view of what difference has been made to society as a whole. Social value is about a systemic, network effect rather than the isolated impact on a defined set of individuals.

B- Corporation categories; 

1. Governance – enhancing policy and practices pertaining to mission,
2. Community – contribution to economic and social wellbeing
3. Environment – improving overall environmental stewardship
4. Customers – how can value be improved for direct customers
5. Disclosure – sensitive industries, practices , fines or sanctions


Insights and Takeaways

Why does consciousness matter in business?

Restoring trust in business: public levels of trust in business require restoration. Businesses able to enhance their net positive contributions to society are more likely to earn the trust of stakeholders and in turn, secure ‘credibility’ to operate.

Adapting to resource scarcity and environmental concerns: carbon net zero, long term competitiveness, sustainability of supply chain, responsible practice.

Attracting and retaining talent: 60% of millennials indicate the a sense of purpose is a critical decision making factor on whom to work for and 90% say they will move to a company that backs a cause.

Redefining growth and inclusion at scale: the SDGs (strategic development goals- founded by the UN) form a strong framework for this – companies that turn societal challenges into opportunities that enhance business growth and long-term competitiveness will be better positioned for sustainable growth.

Changing performance metrics: 2015 was the first year HBR weighted social and environmental performance at 20% of the score for ranking the top 100 performing CEOs – the winner that year – Lars Rebien Sorensen concisely summed up “In the long term, social and environmental issues become financial issues” (CEO Novo Nordisk- Denmark)


A quick win and quasi short cut to knowing which companies are taking conscious leadership and business practice and impact seriously is to consult B- Corporation https://bcorporation.net – It isn’t the case that all conscious led companies are B-Corp but this portfolio of companies gives fantastic insight. This site also offers a free assessment tool to discern how well your company is doing against the criteria they outline and expect. This is also a great (and free) learning curve! https://bimpactassessment.net/?_ga=2.240268355.1135304322.1622631348-324141145.1622448566

Without exception:

the companies led by people who extol and practice the values of human decency, respect and protection of the environment perform, on average better than those that don’t, increasingly so, because of changes in consumer behaviour and employee preference for conscious employers.

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