Conscious Business

Beyond Sustainability

Sustainability has become a buzzword with multiple meanings and a lot of lip-service. We need to go further. Beyond sustainability: contributing to the creation of a better world is one of six conscious business principles described in the book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership. The terms social sustainability, economic sustainability, and environmental sustainability provide a recognized framework for evaluating how human choices impact social, environmental, and business vitality. These are sometimes abbreviated in the business world as people, planet, and profit, and are known as the triple bottom line.

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Conscious Business

Stakeholder Integration

Hardly a day goes by without news of another activist investor demanding action to maximize profits and increase shareholder returns. This intense focus on maximizing profits for the benefit of shareholders shows little regard for the people in the organization, the quality of the products and services offered, the customers and suppliers within the supply chain, or the environment in which the organization operates. Paying attention to multiple stakeholders is not a priority for the activist investor who is only interested in financial returns.

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Conscious Business

Conscious Business Principles

Combining the concepts of conscious business, conscious capitalism, inclusive capitalism, and other related Business-with-a-Conscience initiatives led me to define guiding principles for conscious leaders who aspire to build conscious businesses. As a certified conscious business change agent and signatory of the Conscious Business Declaration, I am committed to supporting the conscious business movement.

The six conscious business principles described in the book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership are:

  • Conscious leadership: purposefully applying conscious leadership practices for the benefit of all
  • Stakeholder integration: honoring the interrelationship, interconnectedness, and interdependence of all major stakeholders
  • Conscious cultures: making the world a better place to live and work
  • Ethical imperatives: choosing the right path for the greater good
  • Beyond sustainability: contributing to the creation of a better world
  • Whole-systems thinking: co-creating, uniting, and integrating the separate fragments into the oneness of the whole

Each of these six principles will be explored in more detail in future blog posts. For more information, read The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership.

 

Purposeful Pause

Moment of Mindfulness

Mindfulness teachers often refer to the power of the purposeful pause or a moment of mindfulness. David Steindl-Rast said, “Try pausing right before and right after undertaking a new action, even something simple like putting a key in a lock to open a door. Such pauses take a brief moment, yet they have the effect of decompressing time and centering you.” A purposeful pause creates the space for being in the present moment before taking action or speaking to another person.

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Work Life Harmony

Work Life Balance

A recent client conversation turned to the desire for better work-life balance. During the conversation about setting intention, this conscious leadership coaching client told me that he was being advised to improve his work-life balance, implying work less, live more. The idea of balancing work and life has always been uncomfortable for me. I recall those scales used during chemistry lessons, the brass apothecary balance scales, where a few grams would take the scales out of balance. Another image is that of the see-saw, or the teeter totter, where again, a small shift in weight or position can dramatically affect the balance. This tension between one state and another creates stress and reduces performance.

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Conscious Leadership: a practice not a destination

We have all heard that the answer to the question, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” is practice, practice, practice; but it’s not that easy. Have you ever tried to learn to play a musical instrument? If so, you’ll know how difficult that can be. So, what do you do? You find a teacher, mentor, or coach who can provide a path to success. Although Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall shown in the picture, or any other notorious music hall may be a destination to which we as musicians may aspire, it is the journey rather than the destination that can be most rewarding.

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Setting Intentions for a Conscious New Year

As the sun rises over the early days of the new year, this is a time to pause and reflect on our progress so far and to begin setting intentions for the next steps on our journey. Exploring purposefully, thinking possibility, and committing to action are the three practices for leading consciously within the theme of setting intention in the book, The Inner Journey to Conscious LeadershipMaking the seemingly impossible dreams become reality starts with belief. Will you be like the White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast? What is possible for you this year?

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Winter Solstice and the Yule Log

 

As we celebrate the winter solstice and prepare to eat Yule Log Cake over the holidays, this is good time to think about leaving some of our recent dark experiences behind and beginning to set positive intentions for a brighter new year. Although my memories of the yule log are dominated by the taste of chocolate cake, a deeper story is worth exploring. Read more

Leading Above the Line

 

Conscious leaders respond mindfully to situations in ways that generate desired outcomes, often leading from above the line rather than below the line. You may already be familiar with the success formula advocated by Jack Canfield, author of the Success Principles: E + O = R or Event plus Response equals Outcome. How do you respond to situations and events Read more

Living Mindfully

Mindfulness in this digital age of emails, instance messaging, and social media alerts is challenging to say the least. Distractions are everywhere. Not only external distractions but also the internal distractions found in our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Rather than seeing the negative quality of the distraction and trying to avoid being distracted, can we reframe the distraction as a mindfulness messenger?

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