Conscious Leadership Training

Warren Bennis, Tom Cronin and Harlan Cleveland - who helped formulate the curriculum of The Leadership Forum in 1982 - determined that:

  1. The #1 problem of leaders is their lack of self-knowledge.
  2. The trouble with American leaders is their lack of understanding of the nature of leadership itself.
  3. The trouble with American leaders is their focus on concepts that separate people rather than express the interconnectedness of people.
  4. The trouble with leaders is their ignorance of the world and lack of world-mindedness.
  5. The trouble with American leaders is their inattention to values.
  6. The trouble with American leaders is they do not know how to make changes and to create a team to make something different happen.
  7. The trouble with American leaders is an insufficient appreciation of the relevance of stakeholders.
  8. The trouble with American leaders is that they are not sufficiently aware of the context or the external environment of what ever it is they are doing.

The Conscious Leadership Training educates leaders to be self-aware, powerful communicators with a foundation of extraordinary vision, integrity and values, and who can work effectively with others.

The Conscious Leadership Training develops leaders who can create unprecedented results in their lives and their businesses by changing the way in which they think about and approach themselves, other people and the outcomes they desire.

The Four Principles for Conscious Leadership

{ by Susan Mayginnes }

“Executive derailment was never due to a deficit in cognitive ability. The two most common traits of those who failed were rigidity and poor relationships.”

     { Jean Brittain Leslie and Ellen Van Velsor, Centre for Creative Leadership }

1. Self-Awareness. The primary dysfunction in leaders is their lack of self-knowledge. When we cannot see the dynamics and realities operating inside of us, the consequences can be personally and professionally disastrous. What motivates us, our conditioned thinking and responses, our unexamined beliefs and perceptions all drive our behavior, decisions and actions. Until we are able to achieve higher levels of self-awareness, we will continue to live out our repetitious thoughts, feelings, reactions and experience their predictable consequences. Novelty and true creativity happen when we are able to see through and beyond the historical, repetitive patterns of our feelings and behavior. We can then live and lead in a way that is truly fresh and alive.

2. The ability to accurately perceive and interpret people and events. What most people “see” is shaped by pre-conceived ideas, histories, assumptions and preferences. All of these affect our interpretation of the world. All of these evoke emotional responses within us so that most of the time we are too busy reacting to what is going on within us to be able to relate effectively to the people and situations we find ourselves in. When we are able to see through our own beliefs and assumptions, we can begin to relate to our situation in a powerful way. Emotional intelligence and self-awareness lessens reactivity and fosters creativity. As we see reality more clearly, what we need to do becomes more obvious. Foresight and insight are its natural results. Actions spring from the heart and intellect rather than from mental and emotional reactions. In CLC we will explore the interpersonal, self-constructed realities, interactions and dynamics that lead to conscious choice and extraordinary results.

3. The ability to shift states of mind. Johns Hopkins University published a report in which they identified the number one factor that determined individual happiness was the ability for someone to shift their state of mind. There are also certain fundamental shifts in thinking essential to being able to perceive possibilities that can move us toward success. If we don’t see a choice then that choice is not available to us--not because it doesn’t exist, but because it doesn’t exist for us. When we don’t see possibilities, we feel powerless and can experience despair and depression. This despair is actually the result of how we think and how we perceive the world. When we are able to shift our fixed points of view about ourselves, others and the world, the world and the future are no longer “fixed” for us. This realization allows us to feel more alive, perceive new insights, generate new possibilities and creatively resolve issues with less stress.

4. The ability to generate successful relationships. At the heart of every organization are its people and the web of relationships that are formed by working together. The quality of relating, of working together within organizations makes or breaks things getting done. Organizational responsiveness is the direct result of organizational relationships. Successful leaders have successful ways of being and relating with others. The ability of a company to interact collaboratively, to have the conversations that forward action, to invite the conversations that create novelty and creative solutions, while also maintaining organizational consistency are what makes a company great. Almost all project failures and lack of results can be traced back to a relationship breakdown or multiple breakdowns. These can be misunderstandings in communication, lack of communication, inaccurate assumptions, withheld communications, broken or unclear agreements, lack of alignment, lack of appropriate inclusion, lack of collaboration, alienation and retaliation. The cost of mediocre or poor relationships in companies can be measured by the costs of failures, turnover, errors and slow responsiveness. Loss of contracts, training time for new employees, late projects, loss of opportunities are expensive and can break a company. The jump from ordinary to extraordinary relationships is the jump from good to great.

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