Conscious Leadership is a ‘way of being’ that perhaps many of us are familiar with, some of us understand intimately, and a few of us can claim that we embody fully. As leaders of remote teams, we are in an exceptional position to step into this type of leadership, given that our working model demands in many cases that we let go of the reins, and extend new levels of trust and autonomy to members of our teams.
When we allow ourselves to step more into a space of Conscious Leadership, our lives – quite simply – become easier and better. And so do the lives of the people around us. We become leaders who are able to effectively create physically, mentally and emotionally safe environments that allow ourselves and others to thrive and flourish.
But what is Conscious Leadership exactly? And how do we learn how to ‘do it’ and to ‘be it’? And why should we invest our time (and perhaps money) in stepping more into this way of being?
Zimbabwe-based Barbara Mutedzi calls herself – amongst other things – a ‘Human catalyst’. She coaches entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them improve these incredibly important Conscious Leadership skills, which – without fail – leads to higher performance and greater impact for themselves and their team members. It also leads to – what Barbara likes to call – ‘Profit on purpose’ or ‘Purposeful profit’.
An ancient Hindu proverb states that the three greatest mysteries in life are (1) air to birds, (2) water to fish, and (3) man unto himself. Being self-aware is not a given; it is a journey. And one that never ends, to boot. Barbara teaches us that Conscious Leadership springs from the well of self-awareness, and that self-awareness is cultivated from continued deep inner work, self-exploration and the type of personal development that harmoniously brings the mind, body and spirit together.
In order to facilitate this kind of leadership growth in herself and others, Barbara uses a variety of tools as she focuses on a variety of themes. I will cast the spotlight on a few here:
One of the themes that runs through Barbara’s work with leaders is ‘authenticity’. So many of us are wearing a number of ‘masks’ – often both at work and at home – masks that cover who we truly are inside. In order for us to really thrive as leaders (and humans), it is important that we allow ourselves to ‘lovingly release’ these masks (whether or not they may have served us at one point), so we can face and embrace who we truly are inside.
When we personally go through this process of accessing a deeper level of authenticity than we had previously experienced, we of course then understand more fully the need for us as leaders, to provide conducive spaces for those we serve, lead and look after, to step into – so that they can flourish in all areas of their lives. The more in tune we and those around us are, within ourselves, and our environments, the higher the performance, and the higher the impact.
Barbara talks about ‘grounded authenticity’, which is an authenticity anchored in humility and our true inner being. Humility, servant leadership, results-oriented leadership, or any sort of leadership that cultivates the purpose of others, is in fact, a result of deep inner work.
(2) The Mutedzi 3D Protocol
Barbara has created her own protocol – called ‘The Mutedzi 3D Protocol’ – that she uses as a framework to guide her leaders. It begins with the first D, which is to DEFINE. This step is about gaining as much clarity as possible when it comes to what you want the different areas of your life to look like. It is about creating your North Star and having a clear vision to work towards. As we clarify and focus our purpose and our vision, we set the stage for the second D.
The second D – DESIGN, allows us to create road maps that will help us achieve our purpose.
The final D is for DISPLAY. Using her training as a Neuroscience-based coach, Barbara uses this step to help those she works with, to cultivate, adopt and actively display habits and behaviors that are aligned with their purpose and vision.
In the process of going through these 3Ds, one’s everyday life is used as the template or the ‘classroom’ for inner and outer growth. The more aware we are of our everyday activities, the easier it is to identify where we need to grow and expand.
Self-awareness is about bringing things about ourselves that we cannot see into our line of vision. We all have blind spots, but there are things we can do to bring these areas into our awareness. The more we bring them into our awareness, the more we can effectively self-lead and lead others.
Barbara teaches that emotional awareness leads to emotional intelligence, but that it is important to not stop there, but to rather, go beyond that and move into a space of ’emotional agility’. She teaches that, ‘Feelings are the language of the soul.’ We therefore always stand to benefit when we have awareness, intelligence and agility when it comes to interacting with our own – and others’ – feelings.
One of the many striking things about Barbara is the breadth of coaching, thinking and Being ‘tools’ that she brings to the work that she does with herself and the leaders she coaches. She truly sets an example for us, as leaders, when it comes to the possibility of bringing together all of our interests, knowledge and practices into the work that we are doing and / or producing at present.
Barbara is trained as a researcher – with a rich academic background in both ‘Health and Community Psychology’ and ‘Sociocultural and Medical Anthropology’ – including certifications in Neuroscience-based coaching, Yoga and Meditation. Her current academic endeavors find her working towards a BA and Masters in Metaphysics, and a Doctorate in Conscious Living. This multi-faceted lattice of tools and frameworks that she draws upon truly sets her apart from your run-of-the-mill coach, and sets an incredible example for the rest of us when it comes to leaning into all of our diverse interests.
If you – like many of us here at Growmotely – are keen to learn more about Conscious Leadership and Barbara’s work, one easy way to do this is to tune in to the ‘Conscious Culture and Heart-Led Leadership’ session at our ‘Align Summit’ on Tuesday, 8th February. This session will feature Barbara as one of our panelists, as well as our Founder and CEO Sarah Hawley and the Co-Founder of Root + River, Justin Foster.