Conscious Leadership

Elevating humanity through business

Conscious Leadership

Sink or Swim: The Story You Tell Matters

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A Community Contribution by Mark Rogers 

Leadership in companies is like a team of high-grade mariners in central command of their commercial vessels.

The power of storytelling traditions and techniques that leadership uses can navigate ships and employees directly into harm’s way, circumnavigate them around obstacles, or skillfully avoid an ill-fated voyage of monumental proportion altogether.

Toxic narratives often involve planned routes dominated by the perils of human hubris. And leaders who are unaware of the toxic narratives they perpetuate often navigate their companies into a haze dead ahead, with grazing icebergs and jagged underwater blind spots that can slash into the hull at the heart of a company.

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Conscious Leadership

Shareholders are Stakeholders, Too

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By Geoff Campbell and Lizzie Vance 

Dear Friends,

When my brother Tom and I keynoted the 2012 Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit, I told the room of 200 CEOs that I was going to pick a basket of 12 conscious, purpose-driven businesses’ stocks for 2012. Tom and I co-founded The Motley Fool, which provides financial advice to investors, so that only makes sense, right? But here’s the kicker: instead of being backward-looking, I said let’s watch them going forward from here to see if they outperform their more traditional, bottom-line-driven competitors over time.

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Conscious Culture

Savage Blue

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By Genevieve Georget and Lizzie Vance of Round Table Companies 

Reck·on·ing

ˈrek(ə)niNG/

noun: reckoning

  1. The moment that led Bethany Andell—President of Savage Brands—to trade in financial security for vitality.

***

It’s one thing to be changed in this life. Metamorphosis takes courage and vulnerability and a willingness to break yourself wide open. But the unfolding doesn’t end when you put down the chisel. Something more is required to convert that personal willingness into an organizational cyclone of transformation. That something more is a reckoning.

Bethany Andell knew she was in the claws of a reckoning when the ground shifted beneath her feet. Her business was grabbed by the neck and shaken, the foundation splintering.

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Conscious Leadership

What You Can’t Be is a Hypocrite

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By Geoff Campbell and Aleksandra Corwin of Round Table Companies

A border wall. Abortion. Entitlement reform. Russian interference in the most recent presidential election. Gun control.

Pick a topic and it’s likely that Americans are deeply divided on the issue—polarized and separated by their interpretation of the facts, or even holding alternate sets of facts. Politics have become so toxic it sometimes seems as though Americans are living in two separate countries.

But there’s at least one place where people are setting aside their differences and uniting in harmony behind a common banner—Conscious Capitalism.

The Conscious Capitalism movement is a big tent that unites both ardent conservatives and committed liberals. It’s a place where people who voted for President Donald Trump can work with people who loved President Barack Obama.

It’s not so much that they ignore their differences as much as that they understand their common cause and respect those who are on the same journey.

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Conscious Leadership

Fierce Compassion: The Role of Spiritual Intelligence in Conscious Capitalism

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By Geoff Campbell and Aleksandra Corwin of Round Table Companies

The Exxon supervisor called, and he was heated.

“I was responsible for filling secretarial positions in the building, and when I picked up my phone, he started yelling at me,” Cindy Wigglesworth recalled. “Some little moment of grace inside me said, ‘Insert a pause here.’”

Her stomach wrenched with anxiety, Wigglesworth asked the supervisor if she could put him on hold to get rid of another call—a fiction designed to allow her a pause for a few deep breaths.

“I set a higher intention—I was going to shut up, listen, and be hyper present. I wasn’t going to defend,” Wigglesworth recalled. “And that little moment of grace, that inner wisdom—I wasn’t expecting it.”

When she returned to the line 20 seconds later, she dove into active listening by taking notes and repeating back what he said. By the time the call was over, he had completely calmed down and felt Cindy was an ally to solving his problem.

Wigglesworth said it was “a seed moment,” a foreshadowing of a deeper insight she’d later develop after her 20 years with Exxon, as part of something she called spiritual intelligence, or SQ.

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Conscious Leadership

Two Feet in Front of Your Face: The Headlight Approach to Conscious Leadership

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By Geoff Campbell of Round Table Companies

 

To journey without being changed is to be a nomad.

To change without journeys is to be a chameleon.

To journey and to be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.

—Mark Nepo

 

“People often ask me, ‘What’s the key to Conscious Capitalism?’” says Timothy Henry. “I always tell them there are three important factors—leadership and leadership and leadership.”

Every year, hundreds of business leaders are inspired by the ideas of Conscious Capitalism but don’t know how to bring it to life in their own organizations. On the journey to doing better business, what moves us from inspiration to a specific aspiration that sticks?

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Conscious Leadership

Public Company / Conscious Capitalist

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By Geoff Campbell of Round Table Companies

PAR Technology Corp. needed a disruption in 2009. They were facing challenging times as new competitors entered the market, and all while the company was going through a leadership transition.

Karen Sammon had worked for years at the company her father founded, when she made the painful realization that what was best for the company at the time was that she leave PAR to gain outside experience. Current leadership encouraged her transition, which, while well-intentioned, in some ways made it more painful.

It was a difficult decision; she didn’t want to leave.

“Eventually I understood that leaving was the right thing for me, too,” she said.

Understanding didn’t make the reality any easier to accept. Sammon, currently chief of staff and strategy for PAR Technology Corp. and incoming Conscious Capitalism Inc. (CCI) board member, described this period as a time of searching and seeking.

“I admit I was a bit entitled,” Sammon said softly. “I thought I had the answers.”

She found a coach and set out to own what was hers and to embrace what she couldn’t control. It was the inflection point that sent her on the road toward Conscious Leadership and Conscious Capitalism. But Sammon’s Conscious Capitalism journey has been anything but linear.

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Conscious Leadership

The Gift of a Clear-Eyed Truth Teller

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By Geoff Campbell of Round Table Companies

A Note from the Editor: This article is a challenge to our CEO community. How engaged are you in your own transformation as part of your journey to running a conscious company? After you’ve read the article, please let us know what gets in the way of your own commitment to personal development.  

“I’ll never forget this CEO who approached me with a story about his marital difficulties,” explained Rand Stagen, founder of the Stagen Leadership Academy. “He said he knew he needed outside help but couldn’t figure out why the help wasn’t working. He told me, ‘I went to my network and found the best counselor money could buy. Then I sent my wife to the counselor.’”

Stagen, a member of Conscious Capitalism International’s Board of Directors, who has taken over 1,000 CEOs through the intensive leadership development program he has run for the last two decades, said the anecdote provides a glimpse into the minds of many leaders of huge organizations. Why aren’t there more CEOs of public companies talking about Conscious Capitalist principles? According to Stagen, Fortune 500 CEOs get to where they are by being masters of outsourcing and delegation—but those tactics don’t work when it comes to fixing a marriage or adopting Conscious Leadership to transform an organization. A big part of the Conscious Leadership ethos he teaches is a commitment to playing the long game. “If you can’t commit to the long game, you can’t be in the movement,” he said. “You can’t buy this, you have to earn it.”

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Conscious Leadership

In Search of a Transformational Architect

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By Corey Blake and Geoff Campbell of Round Table Companies

A Note from the Editor: This article is a challenge to our consultant contingency to question where they fit and don’t fit amidst the whole of the transformational change process. We also put words to what many of the movement’s business owners are feeling as they determine who they can rely on to shepherd them through the evolution to greater consciousness. After you’ve read the article, please consider the invitation at the end to submit your own viewpoints on this topic for possible publication on the Elevations Blog.

Anne Bennet*, the CEO of a major food manufacturing company, was on fire to make her organization more conscious. She hired a consultant named Benjamin Corby* to help her articulate the firm’s path to purpose.

Benjamin excelled at Conscious Leadership coaching. He was a licensed psychotherapist who had spent two decades expanding his own consciousness as he supported leaders in expanding theirs. Benjamin led Anne and her executive team through purpose work that landed on the heartfelt goal of reducing childhood obesity by removing calories from the company’s products. He then supported the team in learning to listen to each other more deeply, and in sharing each of the personal ties they felt to this emerging company purpose. With Benjamin’s support, the team let go of past resentments and wounds that were still showing up in the workplace, clearing the way for the work they would now undertake together.

Then Benjamin did something courageous. He stepped aside.

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Conscious Leadership

Feature: Why Consciousness Is the Key

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Why Consciousness Is the Key to Unlocking Capitalism’s Greatest Potential

By Geoff Campbell and Aleksandra Corwin of Round Table Companies

 

More and more, the term “Conscious Capitalism” pops up in business and general media as the future of doing business.

But what is it, and where did the concept come from? And why is it important that businesses adopt a more “conscious” way of operating?

Conscious Capitalism started as a collaboration between academics and business leaders to articulate a better way to do business, and it is grounded in a belief that businesses truly flourish when they are organized around a greater purpose. Conscious Capitalism has now evolved into a global movement aimed at educating and inspiring business leaders to practice capitalism in its truest form.

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