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A supportive ethical, conscious organizational culture influences the development of ethical, conscious leaders and helps broaden its leaders’ perspectives to a world-centric view (Legault). Much like the process in individuals, the ethical development of organizations appears to take place from a corporate-centric perspective (the ego-centric level or pre-conventional tier), to a community-centric perspective (the ethnofile:///C|/clients/Legault%20Marie/Conscious%20Capitalism%20Leaders%20and%20Organizations%20with%20a%20World%20View.htm[3/27/2012 3:45:01 PM] Conscious Capitalism: Leaders and Organizations with a World View centric level or conventional tier), to a world-centric perspective (the post-conventional tier) (Wilber and Walsh). However, the successful creation of a culture that develops and sustains ethical, conscious leaders and leaders with a world-centric view depends on the integrity and moral character of its leaders and organizational members (McGuire and Rhodes).

Our socio-cultural context requires leaders to think, feel, and act with a world-centric view in order to address the complexity of the global economic environment and create opportunities for a sustainable future. According to the developmental psychologists Robert Kegan and Susanne Cook-Greuter, there is a genuine concern that leaders are in over their heads or up to their chin when coping with the narrow Figure 3: Vertical rationalistic Western mindset. Research indicates that approximately 20% of adults in developed countries reach the capacity to think, feel, Development and act with a world-centric view (Cook-Greuter “Postautonomous Ego Development: A Study of Its Nature and Measurement”; Kegan; Rooke and Torbert). Given this statistic, a minority of our organizational leaders has evolved to a world-centric perspective. This raises a critical question and challenge: What can be done to accelerate the development of ethical, conscious leaders and conscious businesses in order to create a sustainable future for the next generations? To help meet this challenge here follows a few recommendations that emerged from interviews conducted with leaders who have reached world-centric perspectives (Legault).


Since leader development is mostly experientially driven (Day, Harrison and Halpin), organizations can accelerate the development of ethical, conscious leaders by designing experiential learning activities and action learning programs. Action learning and action inquiry are processes and programs that have the capacity to effect individual and organizational changes simultaneously (Marquardt; Torbert et al.). Leaders that expand their levels of consciousness and develop greater psychological complexity through differentiation and integration create ethical, conscious cultures (Logsdon and Young; McGuire and Rhodes). In order to expand leaders’ perspectives and transform organizational cultures, action learning and action inquiry initiatives need to incorporate: horizontal and vertical development; the four elements of conscious business – higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious leadership, and conscious culture –; and learning at the personal leadership level, organizational leadership level, and systems leadership level.

There is growing evidence that narratives are at the heart of leadership. Telling a story is a leadership behavior that provides leaders with a self-concept from which they can lead (Shamir, Dayan-Horesh and Adler). Story-telling or the construction of a life story is a major element in the development of authentic leaders (Shamir and Eilam).

In addition, authenticity in leadership is emergent from a narrative process in which others play a constructive role in the self (Sparrowe). Dialogue initiatives can accelerate the development of ethical, conscious leaders by providing leaders with an opportunity to narrate their experiences and learn from each other. The process engages leaders to broaden their perspectives by offering a path for understanding and effectiveness that goes to the heart of what it is to be human – the meaning-making, thinking, and feeling that underlies actions (Isaacs). Dialogue initiatives create learning environments that can empower employees and encourage integrity, authenticity, and transparency within the organization (Senge; Senge et al.). Dialogue can also establish trusting and caring relationships among employees and, in turn, improve the organizational culture.

Having the support of a professional leadership coach is another way to accelerate the development of ethical, conscious leaders. Research suggests that ethical, conscious leaders seek support from leadership coaches for their professional development (Legault). Leadership coaching – a just-in-time, one-on-one development process – can help leaders develop on both the horizontal and vertical growth and, as such, help leaders expand their capacity to incorporate broader perspectives (J.

Hunt). Team coaching can increase the team effectiveness and, in turn, effect the organizational culture (Anderson, Anderson and Mayo).


The need for developing ethical, conscious leaders has never been greater if organizations are to deal with the complexity of the global economic environment and create opportunities for a sustainable future. Developing leaders with a world-centric perspective is essential in order to create and sustain conscious businesses – businesses that are guided by a higher purpose, that seek to deliver value for all stakeholders simultaneously, and that build conscious cultures. Conscious leaders that lead conscious businesses are conscious capitalists. They can advance the development of a conscious society. The starting point is the development of leaders with a world-centric view.

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Anderson, Merrill C., Dianna L. Anderson, and William D. Mayo. “Team Coaching Helps a Leadership Team Drive Cultural Change at Caterpillar.” Global Business and Organizational Excellence 27.4 (2008): 40-50. Print.

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. “2008 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud & Abuse”. Austin, 2008..


—. “2010 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse”. Austin, 2010. September 10 2011. http://www.acfe.com/rttn.aspx%3e.

Avolio, Bruce J. “Promoting More Integrative Strategies for Leadership Theory-Building.” American Psychologist 62.1 (2007): 25-33. Print.

Brooks, Lens, and David Selley. Ethics and Governance: Developing and Maintaining an Ethical Corporate Culture. 3rd ed. Toronto: Canadian Centre for Ethics & file:///C|/clients/Legault%20Marie/Conscious%20Capitalism%20Leaders%20and%20Organizations%20with%20a%20World%20View.htm[3/27/2012 3:45:01 PM] Conscious Capitalism: Leaders and Organizations with a World View Corporate Policy, 2008. Print.

Ciulla, Joanne B. “Leadership Ethics: Mapping the Territory.” Ethics, the Heart of Leadership. Ed. Ciulla, Joanne B. 2nd ed. Westport: Praeger Publishers, 2004. Print.

Collins, Jim. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001. Print.

Conscious Capitalism. “What Is Conscious Capitalism?”. 2009. http://www.consciouscapitalism.org/whatis-conscious-capitalism.html#business%3E.

Cook-Greuter, Susanne R. “Making the Case for a Developmental Perspective.” Industrial and Commercial Training 36.6/7 (2004): p. 275. Print.

—. “Postautonomous Ego Development: A Study of Its Nature and Measurement.” Doctoral dissertation (UMI No. 9933122), Harvard University, 1999. Print.

Day, David V., Michelle M. Harrison, and Stanley M. Halpin. An Integrative Approach to Leader Development. New York: Psychology Press, 2009. Print.

Fisher, Kurt W., Sheryl L. Kenny, and Sandra L. Pipp. “How Cognitive Processes and Environmental Conditions Organize Discontinuities in the Development of Abstraction.” Higher Stages of Human Development: Perspectives on Adult Growth. Eds. Alexander, C.N. and E.J. Langer. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. 162Print.

Gallup Organization. “Nurses Top Honesty and Ethics for 11th Year”. Washington, 2010, December. Retrieved. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145043/Nurses-TopHonesty-Ethics-List-11-Year.aspx%3e.

Hunt, James, G. “What Is Leadership?” The Nature of Leadership. Eds. Antonakis, John, Anna T. Cianciolo and Robert J. Sternberg. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2004. 19-47.


Hunt, Joanne. “Transcending and Including Our Current Way of Being: An Introduction to Integral Coaching.” Journal of Integral Theory and Practice 4.1 (2010): 1-20. Print.

IBM. “Capitalizing on Complexity: Insights from Global Chief Executive Officer Study”. May 2010. September 3 2010. http://wwwibm.com/services/us/ceo/ceostudy2010/index.html%3e.

Isaacs, William. Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together. New York: Doubleday, 1999. Print.

Joiner, Bill, and Stephen Josephs. Leadership Agility: Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating Change San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007. Print.

Kegan, Robert. In over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994. Print.

Legault, Marie. “Becoming an Ethical Leader: An Exploratory Study of the Developmental Process.” Doctoral dissertation (UMI No. 3397539), Fielding Graduate University,

2010. Print.

Logsdon, J.M, and J.E Young. “Executive Influence on Ethical Culture: Self Transcendence, Differentiation, and Integration.” Positive Psychology in Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility. Eds. Giacalone, Robert A., Carole L. Jurkiewicz and Craig Dunn. Greenwich: Information Age Publishing, 2005. 103-22. Print.

Mackey, John. “Creating a New Paradigm for Business.” Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems. Ed. Strong, Michael. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. 73-113. Print.

Marquardt, M.J. Action Learning in Action: Transforming Problems and People for World-Class Organizational Learning. Palo Alto: Davies-Black Publishing, 1999. Print.

McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Print.

McGuire, John B, and Gary B Rhodes. Transforming Your Leadership Culture. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Print.

Moss-Kanter, Rosabeth. “Leadership 2.0: Strategy and Action for Leading through Change.” 12th Annual International Leadership Association Global Conference. 2010, October. Print.

Porter, Michael E, and Mark R Kramer. “Creating Shared Value: How to Reinvent Capitalism – and Unleash a Wave of Innovation and Growth.” Harvard Business Review (2011, January-February). Print.

Richards, Francis A, and Michael L Commons. “Postformal Cognitive Development Theory and Research: A Review of Its Current Status.” Higher Stages of Human Development: Perspectives on Adult Growth. Eds. Alexander, C.N. and E.J. Langer. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. 139-61. Print.

Rooke, David, and William Torbert, R. “Seven Transformations of Leadership.” Harvard Business Review 83.4 (2005): p. 66. Print.

Rost, Joseph, C. Leadership for the Twenty-First Century. Westport: Praeger Publishers, 1993. Print.

Senge, Peter. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. New York: Doubleday, 1990. Print.

Senge, Peter, et al. Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future. Cambridge: SoL, 2004. Print.

Shamir, Boas, Hava Dayan-Horesh, and Dalya Adler. “Leading by Biography: Towards a Life-Story Approach to the Study of Leadership.” Leadership 1.1 (2005): 13-29.


Shamir, Boas, and Galit Eilam. “”What’s Your Story?” A Life-Stories Approach to Authentic Leadership Development.” The Leadership Quarterly 16.3 (2005): 395-417.


Sisodia, Raj, David B. Wolfe, and Jag Seth. Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School file:///C|/clients/Legault%20Marie/Conscious%20Capitalism%20Leaders%20and%20Organizations%20with%20a%20World%20View.htm[3/27/2012 3:45:01 PM] Conscious Capitalism: Leaders and Organizations with a World View Publishing, 2007. Print.

Sparrowe, Raymond T. “Authentic Leadership and the Narrative Self.” The Leadership Quarterly 16.3 (2005): 419-39. Print.

Strong, Michael, ed. Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Print.

Swartz, Jeff. “Leadership 2.0: Action in Service to the Planet and Its Citizens ” 12th Annual International Leadership Association Global Conference. 2010, October. Print.

Thomas, Brett. “Integral Leadership Primer.” International Integral Leadership Collaborative. 2011. Print.

Thomas, Brett, and Russ Volckman. “The Integral Framework.” International Integral Leadership Collaborative. 2011. Print.

Torbert, Bill, et al. Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2004. Print.

Waldman, David A., and Donald Siegel. “Defining the Socially Responsible Leader.” The Leadership Quarterly 19.1 (2008): 117-31. Print.

Wilber, Ken, and Roger Walsh. “Towards an Integral Ethics.” Integral Naked, 2008. Print.

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