In a recent Coaching session I’m asked, “What do YOU think about when you use the word, Leadership?” My response at first was general as there are so many points of view, definitions and interpretations – and, for all intents and purposes, they’re all meaningful. It’s a loaded question…

When I think about leadership and great leaders-of-people, I think of a passion around “Conscious Leadership.” It’s a blend of Business, People and Art and has to include the alignment of 3 critical factors most leaders overlook.

1.) Self-Awareness

2.) Perspective

3.) Credibility

But, that’s just the beginning…

When you think about what truly defines great leaders of people, organizations and systems, it’s not one thing. And, there are no absolutes. Everyone has a situational response in which the opportunity for Leadership influence steps in. Operative term here, is “opportunity.” It’s the opportunity to inspire and synthesize the alchemy of performance excellence in all dimensions and domains of leading people (the “right” people on the bus), to focus on your vision. (Here, our 3 factors above already stepped in).

I added – I think of “Mind Aware.” This is a person who has a 360° personal and mental GPS – is grounded, connected and curious about possibilities. They “Think Around the Corner.” More specifically, Conscious Leadership is about Authenticity, Inspiration and a Communion of Minds. And, yes, it’s lofty. It has to be, because the responsibility to understand how to infuse success into your operations in inflationary markets, requires paying attention and knowing how to lead, empower and motivate your team through adversity. Remember, it’s a leader’s responsibility to lead and grow the minds of those around them as a natural consequence to their “Conscious Leadership” style. It’s huge.

How do you do it? Here’s where I throw people off…To be a great leader, to be a Conscious Leader, you need to be “In Love.” (LOL – you should see his face). Yes, I continued. In love with everything. Why not? It’s a renaissance thing – art, color, beauty, light…So, what words come to mind when I think of Conscious Leadership? For now, suspend the technical aspects of finance, markets and business acumen. If you’re looking at creating greater significance in a new era – Conscious Leadership is about, “Beingness, Connectedness, Empathy, Kindness, Listening, Caring, Nurturing, Developing, Encouraging, Empowering, etc., etc., etc.,” and the list goes on. Conscious Leaders understand this. And, not to mention, they also possess the ability to Coach, Mentor and manage difficult conversations.

Can you be a “successful leader” without these?” Absolutely. But…in my opinion, without inspiration, commitment and people-growth, there is no legacy…it’s not sustainable. I refer to this “touchy-feely” stuff, as a “nuance,” missed by many because of fear (lack of awareness) and self-doubt. (Topic for another day).

In closing, while a Conscious Leader has the “Big Picture” in mind. We’re not forgetting his/her financial, market and operations astuteness. If he/she doesn’t know that market share, profitability and margins, represent the value of relationships (rewind your P&L 30 days and think of who gets things done “on-time,” with quality and collaboration), then he/she is not connected to the scope of people, growth and performance excellence. Of course, there’s a lot more, but…if you don’t love what you do and don’t have a perspective that is supported by the awareness of the energy that comes from “Love,” then, your ability to influence – truly influence and be meaningfully disruptive – cannot happen.

You cannot create Excellence when you can’t see it.


Tracy Sutton:, or