Wisq CEO Jim Barnett says that “conscious leadership” has been the key to leadership success—building an office of happy and successful employees through authenticity and presence.
- Jim Barnett is the CEO and founder of Wisq, a software platform that allows employees to build connections and relationships at work.
- In an op-ed for Fast Company, Barnett discusses “conscious leadership,” the practice of thoughtfully approaching co-workers and colleagues as authentic leaders—approaching others gently and honestly to reduce drama and stress.
- By changing your mindset as a leader, you can build a healthier and more productive company culture that fosters strong connections and happy employees.
Why It’s Important
In the age of “quiet quitting” and “the great resignation,” it is easier than ever for workers to feel unhappy at work, disconnected from their jobs, and disconnected from their co-workers. Barnett found this common early in his career, noting that many very successful CEOs he worked with were unhappy regardless of their success. He realized he needed a mindset shift and discovered conscious leadership.
“Conscious leadership is about guiding people and teams with awareness, presence, and authenticity. It’s about coming from a place of curiosity and ease. And it’s about asking, listening, and being thoughtful in your interactions. Unconscious leaders, on the other hand, are often reactive, unaware, and not thoughtful. By making a shift to being more conscious, leaders can have a profound impact on their people, culture, and organization,” says Barnett.
Barrett dedicates an hour each day to meditation, focusing the beginning of his day on clarity and self-awareness. At the office, he practices an open-door policy and encourages inclusivity and a welcoming atmosphere. He works daily to help his workers understand the “why” of what they’re doing, helping them find meaning in their jobs—encouraging a culture of gratitude and appreciation where people’s efforts are rightly acknowledged.
“When I first explored these tactics, my goal was to become a happier individual. But now I see how conscious leadership can create a happier and more successful team and have a profound impact on your organization and results,” he says.