We need to change towards a more conscious way of doing business because we can’t afford to keep repeating the same mistakes of the past, blindly feeling our way forwards in the dark. Leaders have a paramount role to play in the game of new business. However, new business needs conscious leaders – those who are able to step outside the stream of their thoughts and feelings, their desire for self-protection and their fears for survival. Conscious leaders are aware of these human conditions that drive us all and, because of this awareness, they have more choice to be a different sort of leader and to make different decisions.

Research is showing us that businesses that care for balancing the needs of all stakeholders involved (even where this costs more), rather than just aiming for short-term profits, actually end up being more successful and making more profit in the long run than those businesses that go after profit alone at the expense of their stakeholders such as suppliers, employees and the community. A conscious leader is able to see this and acts in the interests of the whole, rather than in self-interest.

What new business needs is conscious leaders who see the evolutionary benefit of collaboration and whole-minded thinking. Business is one of the most powerful forces in society today and it will survive longer – and serve the society it depends upon better – if it is run with the whole in mind.

Conscious leaders can set cultures, they can influence thousands of people to do the same and they can ensure that they set the bar at ‘flourish’ rather than ‘deteriorate’. How they choose to use their influence depends on how much they have woken up.