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Moral Leadership

Moral Leadership

Our organizations can be microcosms of the communities we all hope to live in. They can set a tone for a model of civility and cooperation. As CEOs we have the opportunity to demonstrate what trustworthy leadership looks like and how to build respect in our organizations. We do this by acting as moral leaders with a focus on creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard and respected.

One of the most critical aspects of leadership is moral leadership. It is not enough to lead with an eye toward the bottom line, we are charged with creating a culture of cooperation and belonging. This is what ultimately makes our institutions thrive and become the places people feel an affinity toward and want to be a part of. When we lead with the intention of creating a safe, trusting workplace and creating a culture of caring it will come back to us and ultimately be reflected in our bottom line.

As leaders we establish the tone and the culture for our institutions. The decisions we make and priorities we set say a lot about the ethos of our organization. Our own success is intrinsically linked to the team we build around us. What are some of the questions, the gut check we need to be engaging in to assure we are on track in our role as moral leaders? Do we look past the support staff on our way through the door, or do we stop and greet each person in a manner that lets them know that they matter? Do we know the names of each and every person in our organization and do we remember to celebrate their joys and share in their personal sorrows? Have we created personnel guidelines and practices that embrace individuals and assure for an emotionally safe workplace environment? It is important to be able to ask and answer these questions with honesty.

The external benchmarks for success may be about fiscal growth, communal impact, or product innovation, however if we are not running a healthy organization sustaining our goals will prove to be difficult. The entire team is an integral part of our success.

As leaders we are often tasked with making tough decisions, choices that may impact people’s livelihood, may impact our constituents and the services we can offer and may upset financial stakeholders.

The more included our entire team feels, the more support you will have when and if you have to make tough choices. The mark of leadership is making the hard call when no one else wants to, it is the ability to stand up and do what we know is right. However, we do not have to do it in isolation, we have the support of the people around us if we have earned their trust.

When we lead with a focus on moral leadership, we can play a key role in bringing forward a society of respect. Our workplace can be a model of what we hope our communities will become.

Carole Zawatsky believes that tapping the greatest strengths of each individual and teaching them to work toward their natural talents builds the self-confidence needed to grow as a professional. She has excelled at supporting professionals in finding their voice, and letting go of the fears that might hold them back. She is particularly passionate about helping senior staff understand and align their budgets with the institutional mission and vision.

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Ready to grow a stronger organization? 

Contact us to get started.

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Leadership in Dark Times

Leadership in Dark Times

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
– Anne Frank

It is undeniable that we are all in a shared space that none of us have ever visited before. We are new to this space defined by isolation, fear of illness and the unknown. We are all working to find new ways to connect digitally and remain engaged in the world around us. Human beings are by nature social creatures, we thrive by being together.

Our institutions likewise thrive when there is human interaction. Our organizations thrive on collaboration, and the synchronicity of shared ideas that happen when we are in proximity to one another. For the past many months, we were able to approximate this with outdoor dining, picnics, visits to our families, friends and colleagues in parks and backyards. As the winter begins to close in around us and the days have grown shorter, we will need to find new ways to illuminate our shared experiences and bring some light into this dark time.

It is no surprise that so many cultures have traditions that bring light into our lives at the darkest time of the year. It is what we do, we find ways to fill the void through our own actions. A single act of a leader bringing their team together in new and unexpected ways can be that light. Your team is looking toward you to lift them up when the days are short, and the light is dim. As we all live in this new world of the prolonged liminal space between isolation and the hope of a vaccine, we leaders can make the difference between light and darkness. Some of the most successful leaders are those who acknowledge the reality of difficult situations and continue to keep their teams optimistic. They are able to continue to inspire creativity most especially in difficult times.

This is the moment for leaders to act as a catalyst for creativity and change in order to inspire our organizations to do more than survive, but to actually flourish.

Let’s ring in the New Year with lightness and hope.

Carole Zawatsky believes that tapping the greatest strengths of each individual and teaching them to work toward their natural talents builds the self-confidence needed to grow as a professional. She has excelled at supporting professionals in finding their voice, and letting go of the fears that might hold them back. She is particularly passionate about helping senior staff understand and align their budgets with the institutional mission and vision.

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Conscient Leaders: Interview with Emily Barson

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read more

Ready to grow a stronger organization? 

Contact us to get started.

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The Small Things

The Small Things

“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment, and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”  
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Gratitude comes like a whisper, quietly when we open our hearts and allow ourselves to take in the small wonders that surround us. I was out for my morning walk, wet hair, a little too cold for comfort and regretting my decision to leave the house without a hat when a neighbor opened her door and exclaimed, “you need a hat”. She came out moments later with a woolen cap and off I went wearing a warm hat and happily filled with gratitude.  

These simple acts of kindness, the moments we take to actually stop and allow ourselves to see other people, their joy, their sorrow, their need for humanity, this is what gratitude can feel like. 

When we notice small changes in the universe the changing colors in the natural world from the pale green leaves beginning to come back after a long winter to the magnificent brilliant colors as the leaves bid us goodbye in the fall. When we stop and take note of the beauty that surrounds us, this is what gratitude can feel like.

Each of us move through the world in many different ways, as parents and children, friends and partners, siblings, colleagues, and leaders and of course as individuals. In each of these roles we have the chance to experience gratitude and to be a part of communal gratitude. This is a time of year, as we move toward Thanksgiving to ask ourselves, “what are we grateful for, and what have we done that might have helped another person experience gratitude.”  

Our organizations and institutions are microcosms of our larger world, they are the sum total of our collective selves.

During this particularly difficult time when so many are experiencing isolation, illness, fear and longing what have we done as leaders to support our institutional community?

Have we checked in on our colleagues, do we know who might be having a more difficult time right now, are we providing the emotional support to those who need it most? Have we stopped and really seen and heard those we work with?  

As we move toward winter with shorter days, cold weather that keeps us inside and we remain in isolation from one another it may prove to be more difficult to summon our gratitude. However, this is when we need to dig deep and commit to ourselves that we will notice the small acts of kindness, the humanity around us, and the beauty of the natural world. We need to feel the gratitude for the lives we have been given and offer the same to others. As leaders, it is incumbent upon us to ask how the people around us are doing and take notice of them, to show people they matter and we see them.  

We do this as friends, as partners, as parents and children and we do this as leaders, we give gratitude for the warm hat on a cold day, the act of kindness that is the best of humanity.  As we sit together or perhaps alone on Thanksgiving, let’s take a moment to count the small things that bring delight to our lives and hold on to those thoughts in the days ahead. 

Carole Zawatsky believes that tapping the greatest strengths of each individual and teaching them to work toward their natural talents builds the self-confidence needed to grow as a professional. She has excelled at supporting professionals in finding their voice, and letting go of the fears that might hold them back. She is particularly passionate about helping senior staff understand and align their budgets with the institutional mission and vision.

Conscient Strategies was founded with the idea that every organization is capable of thriving through change. With a focus on strategy development, program implementation, workplace dynamics, and leadership development, Conscient Strategies equips leaders with the tools necessary to continuously navigate the constancy of change in ways that not only benefit their team, but, equally as important, their business outcomes as well. From mergers to c-suite changes to sudden or explosive growth, organizations turn to Conscient Strategies when change is threatening their financial health and cultural wellbeing.

Based in Washington, D.C., Conscient Strategies is comprised of a talented group of consultants, executive coaches, strategists, and account executives. The team has worked with organizations of all sizes in the private, federal, and non-profit sectors across the United States and Internationally.

 

You may also be interested in:

Conscient Leaders: Interview with Emily Barson

Conscient Leaders: Interview with Emily Barson

In our latest “Conscient Leaders” interview, we talk with Emily Barson, Executive Director of United States of Care, about how her team responded and evolved in many ways in 2020, and her advice on how leaders in any sector can effectively navigate 2021—and beyond.

read more

Ready to grow a stronger organization? 

Contact us to get started.

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