Every leader is in a unique position to connect the disconnected, yet many of us are surrounded by disconnects– because the average employee is not a leader and that reality needs to change.
Team members are disconnected from their management, brands are disconnected from their consumers, and companies are disconnected from their revenue drivers. These challenges are often more widespread than realized, and they have recently been exacerbated by our global health crisis and recent need for remote work everywhere. Beyond a sense of responsibility, it takes a sense of consciousness to overcome the obstacles at hand.
We define consciousness as a state of being, a form of mindfulness, and a sense of awareness of what occurs within and outside the company; of the reasons for and implications of our actions; and of the people and world around you. It includes a sense of responsibility, but it expands beyond morality alone to envelop capacity to break from mechanical ways of thought, act with insight, and adapt as needed.
Conscious team players recognize that they are a uniquely contributing part of a greater whole– that actions require purpose to drive great results– and that they have a higher obligation to serve humanity. These understandings are the foundation for purposeful organizations, elevated performances, and increased profitability.
1. Evaluate to elevate.
As every form of elevation demands reflection, the first step to operationalizing consciousness is assessing consciousness, and constant assessment is a requirement of consciousness itself Evaluate the current state of your organization as well as every task you receive, and encourage partners and employees to always do the same. Ask yourself: Do your team members have a higher understanding of your larger goals? Do they collaborate to achieve goals? Do they speak up when needed? Do they have the knowledge, power, and fulfillment they need to move your company forward? Your answers to these questions and others like them will determine the extent to which you must go to make your company a conscious company.
2. Realize the goals to fulfill them.
The first level of awareness that every team member must share and align on is the reason behind your organization and their task at hand. This shared agreement provides necessary context and empowers teams to properly assess each action they take and every decision they make to ensure that it is the right one for your business, your customers, and the world at large. And the only way to create such a level of understanding is through clear communication. Master your messages, declare the story, purpose, and values you embody, and demand that every employee at every level internalizes them so that they can embody them.
3. Make every team member a leader.
To inject conscious leadership into their workforce, leaders must carefully balance flexibility with accountability in their workplace. Allow employees to part from protocols of the past to move your organization into the future, and expect them to go beyond what’s expected of them. Tasks that require thought are at the center of every conscious organization. Give individuals at every level the liberty to think about what they are asked to do and create a culture of consideration that you hold people accountable for. Encourage people to reimagine your precedents, speak their minds, make big decisions, and create real change. Inspire teams to take action without prompt and dream differently. Give more freedom, demand more initiative, and get more results.
4. Know that no one is just a number.
To create connections, drive sustainability, and fuel fulfillment, leaders and employees must recognize one another as well as their audiences as people with needs, desires, and emotions. Research and statistics are always essential to success, but it takes a higher level of understanding to interpret the data, translate it into insight, and achieve goals. And don’t just understand the people around you, internalize your duty to the people around you. Helping the world and your organization are one and the same, because the more good you do, the more people will flock to you.
Developing a purpose driven company involves creating awareness about the role that business plays in society and empowering employees to proactively align shareholder and stakeholder value. To paraphrase the closing words of the Drive Profit with Purpose episode– Operationalize Consciousness with Susan Leger Ferraro– Organizations need constant self-reflection, aligned intentions, and perspective transformations to create thoughtful innovations. Consciousness measurement is possible, but it takes action and analysis to close the gaps. The conscious company isn’t only aware of internal and global opportunities and issues; the workforce is also able to self-mobilize and adapt accordingly to fulfill needs. Conscious employees unite around their leader’s vision. Conscious brands declare and share values that align with those of their customers. Conscious businesses are in tune with every challenge they face and opportunity for growth. They’re mindful, action-oriented, and totally transformative.They know what they need to grow. And above all, they drive profit with purpose.