Americans Seek More “Conscious” Leadership

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A strong majority of Americans believe conscious leaders –those aware of themselves, others, and their surroundings – can vastly improve their organizations, yet less than half (48%) of Americans think leaders in our society are truly conscious, according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll among more than 2,000 U.S. adults.

The new poll was commissioned by Healthy Companies International to better understand how Americans view leaders and their ability to navigate in a rapidly changing world. The research suggests many employees feel the world is changing faster than their organizations can adapt, and that more conscious leaders are needed to help guide teams through this acceleration.

A vast majority of Americans believe conscious leaders in an organization drive significant improvements in their employees’ performance (89%) and in their organization’s financial performance (87%). But there is a major perception gap: 94% of C-level executives surveyed believe they are very or somewhat conscious, while only 60% of employed Americans believe the same of C-level executives at their organization. The problem: nearly everyone thinks they are conscious, but the people around them don’t agree. Additional findings:

  • 52% of Americans believe the world is changing faster than their ability to adapt
  • 54% of Americans believe leaders are doing a poor to fair job adapting to change
  • 52% of Americans view society’s leaders, in general, as not conscious enough of themselves or their surroundings
  • 86% of Americans feel there would be less turmoil in the world if leaders were more conscious

“We live in a world of accelerating change, and people are looking for leaders who can adapt, and drive that change,” said Bob Rosen, PhD organizational psychologist, founder and CEO of Healthy Companies. “Today’s leaders need to be fully conscious – introspective, curious, intentional, and honest – to earn the confidence of their employees while shaping business performance. Without these conscious leaders, organizations run the risk of underperforming and are vulnerable to competition,” Rosen added. In his new book, CONSCIOUS: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life (Wiley, July 18), Rosen and co-author Emma-Kate Swann reveal practical advice to help leaders become more conscious.

The poll also debuted a new Conscious Index designed to measure how working adults perceive executives in their organizations. Working adults gave their leaders an average score of 57 out of 100 on the index, which measures consciousness based on self-awareness, open-mindedness, being proactive, and risk taking.

The poll was conducted online by the Harris Poll on behalf of Healthy Companies International from May 22-24, 2018 among 2,021 U.S. adults ages 18+. For complete survey methodologies, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact David Knauss at 703-351-9901.

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