Conscious leaders articulate a compelling vision of the future aligned to purpose and passion. With a strong personal commitment to responsible action, they translate that vision into clearly stated goals and intentions that build understanding, alignment, and commitment in others. A personal purpose-driven vision and a personal commitment to responsible action are prerequisites for the development and realization of an organizational vision. Committing to action is the sixth practice for leading consciously explored in the book, The Inner Journey of Conscious Leadership.Read more
Having a purpose that makes the seemingly impossible possible can be enhanced by thinking and leading from a place of possibility rather than scarcity. Believing in multiple right answers, shifting from unconsciously limiting beliefs to consciously positive beliefs, linking generosity and possibility, and envisioning a future full of possibility, are all features of the Thinking Possibility practice explored in the book, The Inner Journey of Conscious Leadership.
One of my favorite possibility thinkers is the White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. The Queen, in response to Alice’s skepticism about believing impossible things, suggested that Alice hadn’t had enough practice and cited her own experience of practicing for half an hour a day and sometimes believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast. Although fictional, this children’s story is a wonderful inspiration for possibility thinking. Thinking from a place of possibility can provide the bridge from a clearly defined purpose to committing to responsible action.
Possibility thinker, Ben Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and co-author of The Art of Possibility, tells the story of the two salesmen who traveled to Africa in the 1900s. They were sent to find out if there was any opportunity for selling shoes, and they wrote telegrams back to Manchester, England. One of them wrote, “Situation hopeless. They don’t wear shoes.” And the other one wrote, “Glorious opportunity. They don’t have any shoes yet.”
Conscious leaders are possibility thinkers. They don’t come from a place of scarcity, where there is never enough: never enough resources, never enough talented people, never enough money, never enough time. I’m sure you can add a few more “never enough” scarcity concerns of your own. Possibility thinkers have shifted from scarcity to sufficiency, from a place of never enough to a belief that there will always be enough. Conscious leaders embrace a belief in unlimited possibilities.
Aspiring conscious leaders setting intention as possibility thinkers are likely to be found:
- Considering multiple perspectives, multiple right answers
- Doing something radically different compared to what we have done in the past
- Focusing on sufficiency rather than scarcity
- Being contagiously excited and enthusiastic about future possibilities
- Reframing negative perspectives into positive, possibility thinking
- Envisioning a meaningful future for ourselves and our organizations
- Communicating a positive and hopeful outlook for the future
- Striving to be the best for the world rather than the best in the world
- Being an edgewalker, ready to jump off the cliff and learning to fly on the way down
- Walking with the dreamers, igniting the fire of possibility
Which of these behaviors are you already practicing? Which of the behaviors do you need to work on to become a more conscious leader? Select one of these behaviors to practice today. Set an hourly reminder and take a moment of mindfulness to reflect on your experiences and set an intention for your practice. Send me a message via the contact page if you would like to ask a question or share your experiences.
Ten behaviors of aspiring conscious leaders who are Setting Intention and Exploring Purposefully.
Start with why! Simon Sinek, inspirational speaker and author, has been advocating this starting point in articles, books, and conversations for more than ten years, and there are an increasing number of leaders in organizations who now start with why. Individuals can usually describe what they and their organizations do, and many can describe how they do it, but, as Sinek asserts, very few people, including organizational leaders, can clearly articulate why they do what they do. Purpose is the why—why we do what we do as individuals and organizations. Exploring purposefully with a possibility mindset, before committing to action, is an important practice for conscious leaders to apply in the process of setting intention.Read more
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.Read more
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 Leadership. Making 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?Read more
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
Inspired by the movie, The Bucket List, and the song, Live Like You Were Dying, I hope this mantra of “Shaping our future as if we will live forever, yet living today as if we will die tomorrow” will serve as a guide for the new year. This mantra is from my soon-to-be-published book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership. The three major themes in the book are: noticing what is going on, setting intention, and acting responsibly. Read more
Mindfulness is not about silencing the mind. You may have already discovered that silencing the mind is an impossibility. We can’t make our eyes not see or our ears not hear, and neither can we make our minds not think. Mindfulness is about noticing what is already there, observing thoughts and feelings, but not adding […]
Three conscious leadership practices for setting intention are: Exploring Purposefully, Thinking Possibility, and Committing to Action. How are you setting your intentions for the new year? In this blog post, I share a little more about conscious leadership practices for setting intention.