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.

In our home growing up, we had a pedal organ, sometimes referred to as a pump organ or harmonium, requiring constant pedaling to pump air to generate the sound when the keys were pressed. This was eventually replaced with an electric reed organ, and ultimately with a modern electronic keyboard. While I was stumbling over the notes as I learned to read music, my mother would always say, “Practice makes perfect.” I gave up on perfection long ago but I’m still practicing!

In the same way, leading consciously requires practice. Although we may not become conscious leaders in all aspects of our lives, being attentive to the practices for leading consciously can support our journey towards conscious leadership. Whether it is learning relentlessly, living mindfully, exploring purposefully, speaking candidly, or any of the other practices for leading consciously, practicing the specific behaviors of aspiring conscious leaders, can change negative habits into positive habits. What you practice, you become. With practice we can shift from unconscious incompetence where we are unaware of our bad habits, through conscious incompetence, to conscious competence, and ultimately unconscious competence where our good habits become practices residing in our unconscious mind. Conscious leadership is a practice not a destination. Enjoy the journey!

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