Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

What is a Conscious Leader?

By Jeff Klein

The short answer: A Conscious Leader is someone who leads with Conscious Awareness.

As I outlined in the third installment in this "It’s Just Good Business" series, Conscious Awareness is “a process of recognizing what is going on inside and out, the effects of decisions and actions, and the interaction between a complex array of factors and forces.” It is a powerful tool for transcending unconscious patterns, fostering an expanded perspective and openness to new possibilities.

Definitions: Leadership is a process of inspiring and engaging others to move in a direction together and to accomplish something together. Leaders are people who activate and sustain this process.

Conscious Businesses are organizations with Conscious Cultures catalyzed by Conscious Leaders.

The Role of Conscious Leaders: In the second post in this series, I outline the four core principles of Conscious Capitalism as applied at the level of the enterprise: Higher Purpose, Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Leadership, and Conscious Culture.

Conscious Leaders – people who recognize the higher purpose of their business and the interdependence of the stakeholders in their business, and who lead from this awareness – are essential to the ongoing learning, growth and development of their organization, and of the people who comprise its corpus (the word corporation comes from Latin root corpus or body. To incorporate is to embody).

I’ll pass the talking stick to two Conscious Leaders to bring this idea to life, John Mackey, co-Founder and co-CEO, Whole Foods Marketing and Tony Hseih, CEO, Zappos. Watch the following two videos:


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Tony Hsieh
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

The Bottom Line

Businesses are comprised of people. Human social organizations, including businesses, require leadership for direction and coherence. Leadership can be exercised by many people within a business and by different people at different times for different reasons. Business leaders, such as CEOs, provide ongoing leadership for their companies. If you aspire to build a Conscious Business, you need to be a Conscious Leader and cultivate a Conscious Culture. Your awareness is either expanding, or it is not. Conscious Awareness, by definition, calls for learning, growth, development and expansion.

In the next post in this series I will explore the idea of Conscious Culture in more depth.


Jeff Klein is CEO of Working for Good, a company that activates, produces and facilitates mission-based, Stakeholder Engagement Marketing™ campaigns and Conscious Culture development programs.

Jeff is a founding trustee of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and authored the award-winning book, Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living, to support conscious entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, leaders and change agents at work. He will be offering a 6-week tele-course entitled It’s Just Good Business, beginning September 22, 2011.

For more information visit workingforgood.com

Image credit - www.lumaxart.com

3p Contributor

TriplePundit has published articles from over 1000 contributors. If you'd like to be a guest author, please get in touch!

Read more stories by 3p Contributor

More stories from Investment & Markets