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Consciousness and being a great leader

The horses that pull carriages in Central Park have blinders.  Blinders are intended to block the animal’s peripheral vision so it doesn’t get spooked by traffic and other activity on their left and right.  Limiting its’ ability to see only what is directly ahead, the animal can tend to the task at hand.  But, it is completely unable to react to any danger that might be coming from the side.

I define consciousness as:

  1. The ability to see all there is to see without bias and distortion.
  2. The ability to ease-fully align with the opportunity present in the moment.

Consciousness is not natural for human beings. We create stories about the people we meet, the circumstances we find ourselves in and about life in general that fill is with biases and distortions.  Acting like blinders, those stories limit our ability to see much of the world around us in a clear and complete manner.  The result is that our feelings, attitudes and behaviors are not fully aligned with reality and so our lives become strained, frustrated and conflicted.

I can easily illustrate this problem with a story about my life.  I have four children. I spent almost all of the first 35 years of my life going to school.  Hence, when I finally started making a living, paying off school loans and putting my children through college seemed a daunting task. I recall my ritual of getting in the shower every morning and calculating the cost of educating my children; $20,000 per year times four years times four children equals $320,000. I would go to work having thoroughly scared myself.  I recall friends and family telling me that I was more than talented enough to earn the money I needed and that I was needlessly scaring myself.  But, their support fell on deaf ears.  I simply could not see what they saw.  My blinders limited my ability to see.  My anxiety was self-imposed and quite oppressive. It actually became a significant factor in ending my first marriage.  And, it was completely unnecessary.

Consciousness requires more than we are seeing now. That isn’t easy for anyone. The place to start looking is where life isn’t working well for you personally and in your journey to being a great leader.  Where are you anxious or sad?  What in your life or as you imagine it should?  Where do you feel stuck?  What goals have been unable to reach?

Frequently, the solution to your pain or limitation is just outside of your field of view.  Ask yourself what stories you have about the issues that are causing you pain.

“My employees aren’t committed”

“My team isn’t talented enough”

“This goal is simply too big to reach”

“I don’t know anyone who makes that kind of money”


Thoughts such as these are tremendously debilitating. The truth about life is that almost anything is possible if we believe it to be.  When we can “see” the possibility, we are better able to align with it. Our decisions are more aligned with that which is occurring. Everything starts to work better.


Anything is possible…a story of confidence

I am working currently working with some money managers who are in a slump.  Despite the fact that they have consistently been making excellent investment decisions for years, a few months of poor returns have shredded their self-confidence. Not being able to see their true talent, they are operating from a place of fear.  They are now too reactive to the market, tend to buy high and sell low. Their ability to make good decisions is deteriorating.  I work hard to help them remember that their previous success was no accident. It was the result of their talent and giftedness.  It hasn’t gone away. They are simply out of alignment with it.  As they regain the bigger picture, their confidence will return and their decisions will improve.

Each of us needs to be on the hunt for greater consciousness.  Consciousness is the foundation for the life we seek.  It is, therefore, the most important work we can be doing.

Send us some limitations you are facing. We will give you some suggestions of ways you can “see” your bigger picture.


About Jack Skeen

Jack Skeen
Jack Skeen, founder of Skeen Leadership, has been coaching bright and successful leaders for close to two decades, spending thousands of hours addressing every imaginable leadership, business and life issue with wisdom and professionalism.

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