Read time: 5min

3 Important Steps Towards Conscious Leadership

Leaders as teachers
Fil D’Urbano, Head of People and Culture, North America, Ardene

I feel my story is a simple one to share and yet at the same time, when I share it with others, more often than not, it seems to elicit the pleasant response “I never really saw it that way”.  Here is how my leadership journey led me to discover 3 important steps on the road to conscious leadership.

1. Let go of your ego

As I evolved along my professional journey, so have my views on leadership. Let’s put aside all the research and theories out there for a moment. What I have come to realize and appreciate is that as we move up the corporate ladder, so does our ego. As leaders, we have this expectation that everyone should heed our advice, because, after all, we have years and years of valuable experience to share with them. And when “they” do not listen, “we” cannot seem to understand why. We certainly know what we are talking about, right?  We wear the lenses of knowledge and valuable experience and we want everyone to see what we see, because it’s proven…in fact, we have the track record to prove it. The problem is, the underlying current is our pride and ego, and somehow that seems to shine through the crack of that ladder as we climb and make our way towards the top. And as humble as we may feel that we are being along that journey, our ego lurks in the background, forming a barrier between us and the results we are looking for.

2. Embrace your role as a teacher

Clearly something needs to shift in this leadership formula…..maybe it’s just time to wear a different set of lenses? Maybe we should be seeing everything through the lenses of a teacher instead of through the lenses of a leader. After all, there is no ego in teaching, as teachers have a different set of expectations. Teachers naturally embrace the different learning styles of their students and patiently, creatively, find ways to get their messages across. They take pride not in what they have done but in how much their students have grown from their teachings. They accept that their students may have good days or bad days, may listen or not listen, may score high or score low on an exam……it doesn’t really matter, because the teacher just keeps on teaching until the desired results are attained.

Everything around me changed when I changed my perspective on leading teams. I now walk into work every day, my university, filled with students who are there to learn and grow and I am there to help facilitate that learning and growth….and when they grow, so do I….everyone wins in this paradigm shift.

3. Change your leadership perspective 

When the leader steps out of their professional self and embraces their role as a teacher, the ego takes a backstage. The energy shifts between both parties and a peaceful acceptance of all that is takes center stage. A new and positive energy is formed and felt by both parties. The leader is there to teach and the employee is there to learn… judgment, no criticism, and most importantly, no ego…..just a healthy exchange between a leader and an employee.  Some call it conscious leadership, but the underlying current of what makes it so powerful is what counts: leading with care and compassion. The best “teachers” in the world, be they from academia, business, politics, etc.….all have one thing in common: they genuinely care about others. They fundamentally believe that it is their role to nurture, grow, challenge, and respect the needs of others. And they achieve this by ever so eloquently wearing the badge of humility in all that they say and do.  And in my humble view, this is where all the magic happens!

About Fil D’Urbano

Fil has over 30 years of  experience in leading human resources  for national and international organizations in the aerospace, telecommunications and retail industry. A believer of conscious leadership, she is looking to bring a new leadership conversation to organizations. Fil understands that creating a culture of purposeful leadership is fundamental to driving a successful business. Fil is passionate about supporting organizations, shaking up traditional corporate cultures to create environments that make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Successfully developing and launching a Mindfulness program for retail stores across Canada is a testimony to her entrepreneurial approach and creative energy, and an example of her dedication to changing the frequency on the overplayed leadership tune. When Fil is not pursuing her leadership journey, she is usually at her cottage trekking nature trails or whipping up delicious meals as she enjoys the beautiful mountain top views of the Laurentians.

Learn more about Fil D’Urbano.


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