Imagine a ladder; call it a conscious leadership ladder. At the bottom of the ladder, one operates from the position of ego; it is all about me, the world revolves around me. It is an egocentric mindset. As long as I win, all is OK. At the top of the ladder, it is all about serving, about elevated awareness and consciousness, about oneness and connectedness. There is a quality of inclusion, creativity, and collaboration, driven by a cause beyond the egoic self. The role of the conscious leader is to be mindful of their conversations, thoughts, and feelings and to notice which part of the ladder they’re operating from at any given time.

To always operate from the top of the ladder and lead from a place of service is not easy and requires a lot of practice and self-observation. It is a bit like a meditation practice in that each time you notice the mind is scattered and carried away, you gently and patiently bring it back to the point of stillness and equanimity. The same principle applies as you navigate yourself on the ladder. The key is to catch yourself being judgmental, defensive, or self-centered in the middle of a conversation and then pause, notice, and consciously move up the ladder. Practicing this will instill in you the ability to assume a different mindset and a new perspective.

We often slip down the ladder quickly and unconsciously due to our hidden trigger points. These trigger points are like mouse traps. We all have these sensitive spots that, if they get meddled with, can suddenly get us triggered and take us by surprise. These sensitive spots and trigger points can be a result of our upbringing, our wounds, our failures, and our unmet desires and needs. We all have them to different degrees, some more than the others, some deeper than the others. When such triggers pop-up, rather than becoming entangled in them, the key is to observe them with curiosity in order to learn about their points of origin, their root cause.

These triggers can lead us to unprocessed hurtful incidents that we may have misinterpreted, misunderstood, or misjudged at the time. If these are explored and examined patiently and compassionately, it can lead us to a new level of insight and understanding that can help us free ourselves from their grip on us. Again, the idea is to raise our awareness and shift our perspective to a new level of understanding. Often stepping up the ladder gives us an elevated point of view, a broader horizon, and a greater level of openness with a fresh perspective.

Operating from the top of the ladder requires us to know what we are about, to live from our essence, to know what we stand for. It is an inside-out approach in that our actions and decisions are driven by an inner vision, an inner calling to make a positive impact. This is a stance of a creative leader – to manifest and passionately create a possible future that is good for all. In contrast, a reactive leader assumes a victim mindset, where actions and decisions are all in reaction to other people, events, and outside circumstances. Operating from the bottom of the ladder, they are often driven by fear, blame, or by being at the mercy of others, and therefore have an urge to react with a not-to-lose mindset.

With the advent of exponential technologies such as AI, AR, robotics, quantum computing, etc., which have the capability to shape our future in an unprecedented and accelerated way, it is vitally important for us all to find ways to move up the conscious leadership ladder. This is how we can harness the power of these technologies and guide them toward building a better future for humanity today and for many generations to come.