Conscious Leader

Conscious Leader
If a company posts a list of values on its website, it must be a conscious business, right?

If a company posts a list of values on its website, it must be a conscious business, right?

Not so fast — to be a truly conscious business, leaders need to put their money where their mouth is.

Consciousness in business is about action. Your actions need to be in alignment with your values if you are truly in integrity. But with so many moving parts in a business, it’s all too easy to get off track. One moment of crisis or confusion can bring you right back to being in a reactive, unconscious mode rather than a proactive, conscious one.

When leaders are conscious, they set the tone for the entire organization. That’s what makes conscious leadership so potent. Conscious leaders are what keep an organization on track with its vision, and that unique vision is what sets a business apart from the rest.

So what exactly is a conscious leader, and how can you create a conscious organization?

In an interview with podcaster Leigh Martinuzzi on his podcast The Hidden Why, our founder Dom Farnan lays out exactly what consciousness in business looks like. Read on to see what they covered and discover how you can cultivate consciousness in business.

Heal Yourself to Heal Your Business

Chances are you’re used to having a separate business persona and private persona, carving out two distinct identities for your work and personal life.

That’s completely normal, and in many ways, we need to keep our personal lives and professional lives separate. It can’t be avoided.

However, we are one person, which means that our personal and professional lives inevitably affect one another and even intermingle. And when one area of our lives changes, most often, the other areas do too. We can use that to our advantage as we grow and evolve, using our own personal growth to fuel new ways of working and running a business.

In her interview, Dom revealed that her personal journey of transformation and deep inner work preceded shifts in how she did business. As she grew more aware, conscious, and accountable for her own behaviors, thought patterns, and beliefs, she naturally approached her business the same way.

Outmoded patterns of behavior such as controlling tendencies, emotional reactivity, and high stress, no longer had room in her newly awakened self. She made it her mission to shift towards a newer, more proactive, and mindful mode of being. She then brought this to her team.

“Conscious leaders make decisions, and they have choices [to make] every day. They can be in their emotions and … react to things and … [have constant knee-jerk reactions]. … [They can have] high stress and anxiety and project [things on to other people] like most “normal” bosses do. But when you're conscious, you are choosing to be mindful of your responses and intentional about how you communicate and how you show up. And it's hard work.”

To Dom, conscious leadership is about taking ownership of your emotions, thoughts, and reactions. Most people (in professional zones or otherwise) take out their issues on others, blame other people for their own reactions, and stir up conflict and disconnection. Being aware of your biases, reactions, and unconscious tendencies is one of the hardest things you can do. It requires inner awareness, mindfulness, and the ability to slow down and ask questions.

We’ve all had bosses who we can see had a bad day — or a bad decade — and seem to take that out on other people. And we’ve all had bosses who seem even-keeled, calm, and supportive. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes for people, but when someone can remain relatively even-keeled and calm even during a personal storm, you have conscious leadership.

“I have a lot of awareness, and I try and be mindful … and embody the things that I'm learning. I bring that back to my team so that they can really focus on being calm, centered, and balanced. We can show up as calm, conscious connectors instead of [being] crazy frazzled … reactive recruiters who are stressed out all the time.”

Committing to self-development is hard work, and you won’t always be perfect. Dom admitted that she still has her moments of emotional chaos or reactivity. But by and large, she’s shifted her approach to work and life. The result? Her life and business are that much better for it.

“Becoming a conscious leader and really committing to [my] values and principles has transformed my life, my marriage, my relationship with my son, and my business. [DotConnect] probably wouldn't have been able to grow as much as we've been growing and work on the projects that we're working on [with] the people we're working with … if I wasn't on this journey.”

Remember, conscious leadership takes practice and, sometimes, trial and error. There are so many ways you can uncover patterns that don’t serve you, release stress and anxiety, and master self-awareness. Whether it’s breathwork, meditation, or sound healing, we guarantee that there is something out there for you.

Identify Your Values

So now you know what conscious leadership is about, how do you translate that to your business? How do you transform your organization and hire the right people who can make your vision come to life?

The first step is to identify your values as an organization, but don’t just consider what you think they should be. What are your actual values? If you don’t know what they are, what values do you really want to embody? It could be anything from prosperity, to well-being, to a commitment to diversity.

Maybe you have core values, but you aren’t really following through on them. In that case, it might be time for an update or a recommitment to them.

“I found a lot of businesses will say that they have values. They'll put them on their website, or they’ll say that they're mission-driven. But when you get into working with them, what they say and how they behave are two different things.”

If you do realize that you haven’t been following through, it’s time to start asking some questions. What went wrong? Maybe you started out with good intentions, but things got busy, you had to lay people off, or you had an unfilled role for months which put a strain on your team.

It happens. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to uphold your vision. Instead, take the opportunity to redefine, refresh, and recommit to your vision.

“[It’s good to] take a step back and think about … your values, [whether it’s] time, freedom, creativity, flexibility, family, [or] financial abundance. … Whatever they are, put them down on paper. Then think, ‘How does your team member need to exhibit those values in their daily life and the job that they're doing for you and the decisions they're making for your company?’”

Identifying your values and sticking to them makes running your business simpler because you can use them as your north star for decision-making. For example, if you value work-life balance and equal opportunity in the workplace, you can more easily make the decision of whether to offer long-term paid maternal leave or not.

Hire For Your Values

Of course, a big part of creating a mission-driven company is hiring the right people! You want your team culture to reflect, support, and enhance your values, but that doesn’t happen automatically.

To create your dream team, get clear about who you want working for you. Don’t just think about their skills and experience as they pertain to the role. What kind of personalities do you want on your team? What types of experiences, professional or otherwise, would an ideal candidate have?

“Understand your values as a human and as a business and have those fleshed out. [Make them] very clear, and then build the profiles of the talent that you're trying to attract. … It may not always be just black and white skills and role responsibilities and requirements. You have to think a bit more holistically.”

For example, if you value creativity and creative thinking, you might look for a candidate who has creative pursuits, even if they’re hobbies and passions rather than professional roles. If you care about the environment, candidates who studied environmental science, volunteered for a conservation nonprofit, or simply tell you that green living is one of their own core values would be great.

To attract the best candidates, think as your ideal candidate would. Well-rounded, high-integrity people most likely want to work for mission-driven organizations. To win them over, think about what they want to see and hear that shows them you’re a desirable employer.

“Put your candidate hat on and think about if you were the person reading the job description, would they want to come and work for you? Does it sound exciting?”

Remember, having a high-integrity company begins with how you treat your staff from day one. When you demonstrate respect, conscientiousness, and compassion during the hiring process, you set the tone for how working for you will be. To draw in the best candidates, demonstrate that you have values in the way that you treat them.

“There's a lot of people who interview and hire a lot of talent, but they've never actually taken a step back to create defined questions that are standard or put their process on paper to ensure that it's unbiased, fair, and equitable. [Make sure] you're treating everybody with dignity and respect throughout your process from day one.”

Being a conscious leader and running a conscious business means you don’t always take the easy way out, but it’s more than worth it. An organization that is supportive rather than competitive, positive rather than pessimistic, and fun rather than overwhelming is so much more fulfilling to be a part of. Get started with conscious leadership today.

Create Conscious Leadership With DotConnect

Traditional business models often breed competitiveness, distrust, hierarchy, and burn-out. Wouldn’t it be nicer for everyone if organizations created conditions for prosperity, emotional and intellectual fulfillment, teamwork, and accountability?

Do you want help hiring recruits who reflect your vision? We’re all about mission-driven recruitment. You can count on us to look at the whole package when it comes to candidates, ensuring you match with the dream team to make your vision soar.

We’ve helped businesses like Beautycounter, Samsung NEXT, and Zendesk find their dream teams and we can do the same for you!

At DotConnect, we find and nurture top talent and are skilled at attracting and growing well-rounded candidates. A conscious business needs more than a set of values and even a top-notch leader — you need the right humans.

And if you’re a job-seeker looking for your dream team or interested in becoming a conscious connector, reach out to us!