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BLOG – Conscious Leadership for Work and Life

by Rukshana Jaman

The recent CamAWiSE event saw Julie Hogbin present on conscious leadership, the ability to bring one’s entire self into a role, exploring the decisions we make in life and work and why we make them.

Julie started her session by asking ‘Are leaders made or born?’. The answer….a bit of both. Ninety-one percent of leaders surveyed thought conscious leadership was important, although 87% did not know how to do it.

 

Leadership is a set of skills that stimulates others. We looked at the 21st century implications for leadership and management and these include:

  • Digital nomads – there has been a massive sway of those wanting freedom from the office
  • Millennials – the trend is to stay in jobs for two years
  • Generation Z – those seeking employment with sustainable and fair organisations
  • Change in qualifications – e.g. Virgin Media no longer requires a degree to join Virgin Media Business
  • Social media and technology – creating change in working practises
  • Psychological contract – the set of unwritten promises, without verbalising them
  • Awakening to change and values
  • Sustainability – a standard sought by new and younger employees

What people want out of employment has now changed, and is no longer the traditional 9.00am – 5.00pm office job. People desire flexibility, to be able to work from elsewhere and not just the office. If employers hold Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) and publically share their values, there is a higher likelihood that they will get better quality candidates. Ninety-four percent of Generation Z look for CSR values.

 

 

So what is Conscious Leadership?

  • 95% habits and what effect do they have
  • Bringing the unconscious in to our conscious
  • Principles that drive behaviour
  • Values derive from beliefs
  • Change and implications
  • Skilful speech
  • Cultural norms, the collective habit of the group

We were asked, “Where does the word ‘nice’ originate from?”. This had many centuries ago, come from the English language of ‘the village idiot’. Today’s definition is a very different one, and a successful leader can be nice, instilling empathy and compassion, however, these qualities are aligned with clear boundaries. Applying wisdom to your compassion, ensures you are able to discern what will work best for yourself – “You can be nice but not let people walk all over you”. Having workplace policies and procedures in place, makes is clearer and easier for a leader to be to be nice, as boundaries are pre-set. Julie’s motto is that she ‘seeks to serve’ and I could see she passionately does so.

We were then given a sheet which listed 230 personal values. The exercise was to tick which of the top ten values resonated with us most strongly. It was these identified values which set our habits, and the top four were the key drivers that are the most powerful in motivating us into action.

Julie later spoke about change and if a current workplace does not provide happiness, it can be beneficial to seek alternative employment before you mentally switch off. We leave a place either physically or metaphorically by presenteeism or absenteeism.

Triggers of change are DISSATISFACTION x VISION x PROCESS.

 

If your current status is dissatisfaction, then look at the vision, followed by the process – and figure out how to get to your next step. It is at this point personal resistance comes in to play, people don’t like change and so stick to what they know, but might not necessarily be happy.

Julie then discussed workplace cultural norm, and this should be managed. Often you will hear “this is how we’ve always done it” in a place which opposes change. For a successful workplace, you will participate in activities because you like them, and be able to challenge something if you don’t like it.

Julie left us with a final tip: never say ‘should’ do this but ‘ought’ to do this…

The evening bought the attention to the thoughts we build to influence our behaviour and it identified principles and values which set our behaviour. The attendees found the talk interesting and useful, and conversations continued beyond the end of the evening

Thank you to Julie Hogbin for an enjoyable evening and her notebook gifts!

 

 

 

Both Julie Hogbin’s books are available on Amazon.

The Life Changing Magic of Setting Goals: How to Set Goals for Inspiring and Sustaining Action The Authorities – Julie Hogbin: Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field
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