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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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