Conscious co-creative leadership: Starts with Self
Leadership starts with listening; listening with an open heart and mind. True listening comes within and through stillness.
It has been rightly said before ‘The success of the intervention depends upon the state of the intervener’. If we are to intervene in the world, we ought to ensure we are attuning with our authentic true nature. This enables us to be truthful in our listening, talking, sensing, responding, actions and reactions. So often in today’s hustle and bustle it is easy to get carried along with the noise, struggling to attune with our real inner presence let alone the world around us. By developing a deep space of attention and awareness within ourselves we can help develop an environment of conscious co-creativity where we can really listen to others, and so others become more susceptible to opening up and becoming truthful in themselves. We create the conditions conducive for co-creativity.
This kind of conscious leadership is not about controlling or manipulating outcomes, it is about facilitating an environment where sharing, learning and then transformational change happen. In the words of Lao Tzu:
Giving birth and nourishing
Having without possessing
Acting with no expectation
Leading and not trying to control
This is the supreme virtue
The first step for any authentic leader is personal integrity which comes from centring and attuning with our true Self: ‘Know thy self’. If we are able to recognise and then tame our ego-consciousness then we can begin to untangle our true Self from our ego. Left unchecked, our ego-consciousness (hand-in-hand with our left-brain hemisphere’s rationalistic, grasping, defining, extracting and separating way of perceiving) attempts to usurp control of our way of engaging with reality. Each moment offers us the chance to free ourselves from this self-imprisonment. In the words of Bob Marley:
‘Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds’
In today’s consumerist culture it is the norm to deaden ourselves from who we really are – deadened we make much better consumers, endlessly seeking outer material gain to stimulate, titillate, perhaps even awaken us, yet it never does in any lasting, sustainable way. How often do we make space and time in our daily lives to ask the most important of questions: ‘What is my purpose? What really makes my heart sing?’ Our culture deeply conditions us, and habitual patterns are hard to break. Yet to become a true leader we must first attend to our own inner relation – our ego-self and true Self – to allow us to attend to other relations in a right way.
‘Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.’ – Martin Luther King Jr
The transformation in our midst happens within ourselves, within each moment. By attuning with the moment (through contemplative practices, for instance, which essentially allow stillness into each moment) we can allow ourselves to become conscious of the unconscious dynamism within and throughout our lives. We allow ourselves to perceive beyond the confines of our ego-illusion.
A true leader first-and-foremost becomes artful in balancing the rational and the intuitive minds, along with the creative and receptive heart. Deep inside us and all around us are all the answers we need for the moment we are in. The present is a wonderful present as along as we remain fully present.
‘Above all else, to thine own self be true’ – Shakespeare.
Self-mastery through softening the ego and opening the heart allows us to transcend the many paradoxes and false dichotomies that plague our Western paradigm rooted in the illusion of separation: conscious/unconscious, self/other, subject/object, human/Nature, good/evil, space/matter, and so on.
Healing the world begins with healing ourselves. The more attuned we become with our inner human nature and the omnipresent Nature flowing throughout reality, the more our heart and soul flows through all we think and do…then we begin. Here is a short video clip on the future of leadership
‘How you see and what you see determines how you will be.’ John O’Donohue.