Why do we need conscious leadership?

Because, unconsciously, we are screwing up.

Big time.

We look at the younger generation and we shake our heads in despair at how distracted and fragile and snowflake they are… but wait a minute…

Surely they are the product of the generation that came before?

Oh f*ck.

That’s us.

We did this. We created this. We raised a generation of kids that can’t sit still. We produced an environment that has spawned youth depression at unprecedented levels. We created a culture of comparison that’s so toxic, teens would rather die than not measure up to social media standards that aren’t even real.

So now, we need to be the grown-ups in the room, take a long hard look at ourselves and ask… How can we make this better?

As business leaders, we need to step up. The influence we have is huge. Not just with people in our organisations – our employees, clients, customers, associates and our entire community of stakeholders. But their circle of influence too.

Influence has a ripple effect.

Are we influencing consciously?

Are we aware that that our thoughts, our actions, and our ideals around success and achievement are having a profound effect on the people around us and creating a tidal wave of tension that threatens the sanity of humanity?

It’s time to wake up.

It’s time to shake ourselves out of this trance of living a certain way just because that’s the way everyone else lives, of never pausing long enough to question our own automated responses – responses that perpetuate the destruction of the collective in tiny individualised ways, culminating in catastrophic conclusion.

And we could change things so dramatically, so quickly, if we were able to do just one thing.

Here’s what we all need to do:

Consciously, we need to change the paradigm around success and happiness.

We’ve all been chasing success because we think it delivers happiness.

Big mistake.

Fatal flaw.

We need to start chasing happiness, because… guess what? That’s what delivers success.

The research is in. The evidence is clear.

Happiness breeds success.

When schools focus on happiness, grades go up and absenteeism goes down.

When companies focus on happiness, productivity goes up and errors and sick days go down.

Proof that the new paradigm works.

Our misguidance around success has created this crisis. We have to be the ones to turn this ship around.

How do we do it?

We begin by getting really good at tuning into our own happiness and becoming acutely aware of what’s working for us, physically and emotionally, and what’s not.

We make conscious decisions, considered lifestyle choices, about how we want to feel – every single day.

We train ourselves to be exceptional managers of our own thoughts – strengthening the muscles of optimism, love, beauty, truth, integrity and generosity; weakening the muscle of fear.

We become happier by becoming more aware of our inter-connectedness, noticing how we influence our micro-communities everywhere, every day. And that when we light up others, we light up ourselves.

We become great leaders by first learning how to lead ourselves.

We do that by refusing to be on autopilot and instead committing to be fully present.

Really getting to know our own minds and firmly, compassionately shepherding ourselves towards being present and feeling good.

Because it matters.

It matters that we listen when other people talk to us.

It matters that we realise how lucky we are.

It matters that we sleep well and eat well and notice what’s going on in our bodies.

It matters that we realise we don’t have to be held hostage by our thoughts.

It matters that we find out who we really are.

And in a world that’s increasingly volatile and uncertain, it matters that we show up with solid integrity, and that we value our contribution more than our personal gains.

It’s not difficult. Really, it’s not.

We slow down. We breathe deeply. We self-audit. We connect. We smile. We become grateful. We care more about authenticity than approval. We face up to our innermost fears and we commit to tackling our demons. We grow in meaningful confidence. We pass it on.

We show the next generation how it’s done.

And one day we wake up and notice that this new way of living has created unprecedented success in our own lives, and a beautiful contribution to the planet.

This is the best part of being a conscious leader.

It WILL make you happy.

It WILL engender success.

Lead well.

Whoever you are… CEO of a huge multi-national or owner of a tiny SME… we need you to lead well.

You are always influencing. Always.

You can choose to do it consciously or unconsciously.

What kind of world do you want to create?

Remember the ripple effect.

Be conscious of your ripples.

Create great ripples!

If you don’t know how to do it – ask for help.

There are plenty of us here to help.

Step up.

Get conscious.

Your legacy is greater than you think.