Leadership That Matters. Conscious Leadership

Written by Lorri Sulpizio, PhD. CLA Director

This blog has been a long time in the making. It’s been an ongoing conversation, an ongoing longing really, to share our version of leadership with the world outside our university walls. This longing originates from the belief that the world needs a better version of leadership. Our communities need a better version of leadership. Our organizations, our schools, our government… simply put, we need to do leadership better. The challenge is that leadership is a concept widely used, yet so misunderstood. Yet, it’s a concept that carries with it hope for an improved future, accomplished goals, and a united collective.

There exists a gap between the leadership we have and the leadership we desire, and what seems to be missing is a level of awareness. The challenge leaders face is deepening their awareness toward a more conscious practice of leadership. This is an understandable challenge, what with how rapidly we move, how quickly people demand answers and want problems solved, how driven we are by a bottom line. Yet this rapid movement with a focus on solving problems and a hyper-drive to make money and get ahead has left us disconnected, disjointed, and facing problems larger than we are able to address.

The world needs conscious leadership.

The Conscious Leadership Academy (CLA) at USD began as The Leadership Institute in 2002. It was created to house a leadership methodology that was both experiential and dynamic, developing leaders by giving them the opportunity to practice navigating issues such as power, interpersonal dynamics, and their own personal blind spots. It was created to allow leaders to find their voice and take up their authority in the effort to address the most pressing challenges they face.

For us, conscious leadership is more than a buzz word. It’s not only a way of leading, it’s a way of living. It’s a way of moving through the world with a perspective that is both expansive and deep. Conscious leadership comes with a willingness to explore nuance and complexity, to use uncertainty as an advantage, and a readiness to meet people where they are at (not where we want them to be). While conscious leaders can make sound decisions and think strategically, they are defined by an inner-awareness, a capacity for reflection, empathy for others, and the way they seek a higher purpose in their work.

At the CLA, we develop the capacity for conscious leadership.

We also value the freedom to share our story and our ideas, and in this blog, you’ll get many voices of leadership and explore how to engage deeply and expand our capacity for leadership that matters.




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