Today I am thrilled to share an interview with conscious leadership shaman Rodolfo Carrillo, based in Costa Rica. Rodolfo has a very interesting and unique combination of business skills, experience and inner wisdom that triggers profound transformation through his work, which is motivated by his strong desire to serve others in their own personal and professional development.

As an MBA graduate, Rodolfo has been involved in business consulting and training for more than 15 years and has participated as an independent director in more than 20 business boards. He has also been meditating and in a personal development path since he was 7 years old.

He has travelled and given talks and workshops throughout the world, having visited more than 30 countries and also lived abroad in the United States and Spain. This gives him a very deep cultural sensibility, which he uses as leverage in the work he does.

What experience has inspired you the most in your journey of becoming a conscious business leader?  

I became a family business consultant 15 years ago, because I’m fourth generation of a family business that failed 25 years ago as it passed from 2nd to 3rd generation. What I noticed in my family was how the focus on money dismembered our family. For several years I sought answers until I crossed paths with an MBA degree with an emphasis on family business and entrepreneurship. There I learned about the complexities of family and business dynamics but most of all, I understood how easily we can lose focus on what’s truly important (love, connection and wellbeing) for money and power. I’ve been meditating since I was seven years old… and as I finally started to understand what went on in my family, both paths started crossing: business or what we feel is needed and spirituality or what’s essential.

What 3 tips would you give any leader for making a meaningful difference in the lives of their direct reports?

  1. Observe your Self: before we can truly make a difference outside we must first recognize what’s inside, where we’re coming from. Bring your awareness inside.
  2. Learn about your Self: once we start recognizing what goes on within, we will need the tools to deal with what comes up so that we can truly expand to our full potential. Learn the tools that will guide your inner work.
  3. Work on your Self: apply the tools, the better we become at dealing with what happens within ourselves, the greater the impact you will have on guiding others towards greater wellbeing.

What are 1 to 3 mindset changes business leaders need to make in order to truly create a working environment that fosters inspiration, connectedness, and transformational personal growth?

Ideas we must change:

  1. Profit is and should be the central and only driving force for the business… we must urgently understand that focusing solely on profits actually destroys value for the system and let go of the fear of doing so. We want to move our focus onto making purpose or wellbeing the driving force of our organizations and letting profit be a sub-product of the work we do. This shift allows us to create sustainable and regenerative systems that lead into even greater economic profit.
  2. We can separate our personal life from our business life… we can’t we spend around a third of our lives working… we can’t separate happiness from work or regular life and business-related emotions. as we embrace our full humanity at work we can actually thrive! We must seek to be happy at work, to make business a driving force for integral wellbeing. 
  3. It’s hard to deal with our humanity… it’s important to recognize we’ve just rarely or never been taught to deal with ourselves and others… it’s not hard, it’s just been rare… we want to focus on learning about ourselves and inner world.

How do you see the connection between business success and personal transformation for today’s leaders?

Leadership is about influence. Most of the leaders that have been able to create sustainable success in their businesses have come to understand that this success is a result of personal connection or the influence that they have on their teams. As a leader transforms or expands, his/her influence does to, and so do business results. It’s the leader’s behaviors, attitude, beliefs and or mindset about their business, their team and the system that either propels or limits the success they can have.

What’s the biggest change in the way organizations will need to function in the future related to using its human capital compared to 10 or 15 years ago?

As a society we are becoming more aware that money doesn’t provide happiness. Instead a feeling of connection (belonging), sense of purpose or meaning do a better job of that. Organizations that don’t provide a powerful purpose for their employees to engage with and experience every day, will have a lot of trouble holding on to talent.

Purpose and Community are more important to younger generations. How do you see those focus areas to improve business results, retention, and recruitment for your organization?

The conversations that need to start happening since the recruitment process should go something like: What moves or drives you as a person? This is our purpose as a company / organization, this is what we believe in, what do you believe in? Does this move you?

Given your commitment as a conscious business leader, what’s your approach to developing leaders to encourage greater consciousness?

I like guiding leaders to understand that greater consciousness equals greater wellbeing, happiness and results. It’s not a business strategy, it’s a life-changing decision. Learning to lead our own lives is the greatest decision we can make for ourselves and everyone around us, including our family, friends, team, business, community, environment, etc.

What do you see as the key qualities of a conscious business leader?

Self-awareness is the basis but beyond that, in my SER model for conscious leadership and businesses, I propose that conscious leaders should lead their work based on 5 principles: purpose which means they are always seeking to create wellbeing, understanding they are part of a interdependent system, so they assume unconditional responsibility for their actions and lack of them, which then leads into acting with compassion or seeking to create value in every interaction while keeping a beginner’s mindset so that they are permanently open to feedback and in connection with themselves and the system.

What is the link between a conscious business and being environmentally sustainable?

A conscious business takes care of all of its stakeholders. Being environmentally sustainable doesn’t mean you care about the impact your business practices have on your providers, or that your employees might be working 12 hours a day and missing out on their families, or that the product you sell has a negative impact on your client’s health.  Conscious business assume responsibility for the impact of their actions and lack of actions in all of their stakeholders and actively and constantly seek to create value for all.

What is your biggest challenge as a conscious business leader?

Navigating the complexities of being human and maintaining balance… it takes discipline, dedication and a profound will to constantly look within and seek to understand and expand ourselves. It sometimes becomes challenging to take care of my body & deal with my emotions, while seeking to recognize my thought patterns and to also be willing to transform or expand them when they are limiting me or my relationship to those around me.

What do you think the biggest changes we will see in the workplace twenty years from now due to conscious business leadership’s growth?

I believe the biggest challenge will come up for the industries whose nature goes against collective wellbeing. The businesses in those segments will have a lot of trouble finding and keeping talent and probably even surviving.

How can our readers follow you or your company on social media, and get a copy of your book? 

You can contact me and sign up to get first access to my soon to be released book BE-ing Leadership on my website:

Or find me on social media as:

FB: thesermodel

FB & IG: rodolfo.carrillo


  • Mark Samuel is a transformative leader with over 30 years of experience in the business world. He has helped hundreds of companies overcome stagnation, transform their businesses, and eliminate toxic work cultures to increase profits, morale, and customer experience. Mark trains leaders on how to implement sustainable changes within just one or two months--a revolutionary approach that he's pioneered with his team at IMPAQ. Mark writes frequently for Forbes and Thrive Global, and hosts the Conscious Leadership with Mark Samuel podcast. He is the author of 7 books, including his newest book, the USA TODAY / Wall Street Journal Bestseller "Reimagine Teams".