When we moved back to PEI 7+ years ago, I bought our current home. It’s charming, old, and in a great location.  Despite its many attributes, we encountered some limitations. The previous owners had installed a high efficiency propane furnace to help sell the house.  I expected a moderate fuel bill.  That first winter was really cold and I turned up the heat. The propane bills kept arriving and by the end of the winter I was shocked to have spent several thousand dollars heating the inside and outside. Despite wanting to ignore it, I faced reality and booked an energy audit. And instead of the beautiful new kitchen cabinets and appliances I dreamed about, I invested in new windows and spray foam insulation in the basement.  The payback was quick. Our home became cozier and the bill was cut in half.

Along the way, I have started to think about conscious leadership like investing in a home. Conscious leaders face reality versus ramping up their delusions.  They know that to lead effectively, they first need to invest in their foundation and walls.

An organization full of reactive leaders is like a drafty house.  The leaders and their teams work really hard to achieve goals just like our high efficiency furnace did. But despite their good intentions, they unconsciously come at most things in a slightly threatened state. Their energy is spent worrying, trying to control things outside their control, and trying to keep the peace.

Sadly, time, money, creativity, and goodwill seep out the cracks like heat escaping from a poorly insulated house.

For me, windows and insulation are like the inner game of leadership.

They aren’t showy like a high-end kitchen but they sure do make a house efficient and really comfortable to live in.

Many of the leaders who graduate from our Conscious Leader Forum say they wish they had learned conscious leadership practices as younger leaders.  They wish they’d invested earlier because they know that some “spray foam and new windows” earlier on would have made it so much more comfortable to live and lead in their own bodies.

Are you willing to forgo the flashy external updates to invest in your foundation? You can have your “dream kitchen” too and the foundational work will ensure it will have a warm and welcoming place to go.

3 Comments

  1. Kate Marshall on March 17, 2021 at 7:54 am

    One word. Exactly!!!

  2. Angelo Pesce on March 23, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    I loved your analogy. For me the foundation of good leadership is to believe in your people and generate respect and trust. With these you can achieve miracles because fear, the enemy of action is reduced if not eliminated/

    • Lisa on April 14, 2021 at 8:26 am

      Hey Ange
      Thanks for the read. I missed the comment initially:( The analogy made sense to me. Fully agree re what is possible when there is trust and respect and also believe that is really only possible when the leader(s) has/have a mature inner game. When they don’t, they will lead from fear (which is our natural human tendency) and that is what they will generate in their team, even if very subtly. I have thought of you many times this past year.

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