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Analytical & Conscious: Can a Good Leader Be Both?

December 30, 2022
By: Patrick Bosworth in the Great Leaders category.

Much has been written about the qualities a great leader ought to possess. Some say leaders should be confident, assertive, self-assured, humble, authentic, courageous, empathetic, and more. Trying to embody all of these qualities can seem like an impossible task, especially considering some of them can appear to contradict each other. Here we’ll discuss one of these apparent dichotomies — being both analytical and conscious. We’ll show that these qualities are not in opposition and it’s possible for a leader to have both.

What Exactly Is Conscious Leadership?

A conscious leader exemplifies qualities such as empathy, authenticity, and social awareness. While these attributes have always had a positive connotation, recently they’ve been increasingly appreciated as the qualities of a great leader. Nowadays, people are increasingly more focused on topics such as mental health, job satisfaction, and burnout. Conscious leaders can create a healthy workplace culture, make work more enjoyable for employees and thus increase productivity and worker retention. They improve the business and improve revenue. This aids the business is remaining so for a longer period of time.

Are There Negatives to Being a Conscious Leader?

Conscious leadership has faced criticism. Critics claim it’s a soft approach that ignores the realities of work. They might feel that it’s too “soft” as an approach or that it detracts from “real work.” Others claim that conscious leadership can have the opposite effect and create tension and workplace drama. However, these critiques can be a bit misguided. Being a kind and considerate leader doesn’t mean allowing resentment to fester in the workplace — quite the opposite, it usually helps resolve tension. Similarly, you don’t need to forgo using your business acumen and ignore the realities of work. In fact, being both conscious and highly analytical is often the most solid approach.

So, How Can You Be Both Conscious and Analytical?

Business research shows that decisiveness is one of the key elements of being successful as a leader. Nobody imagines a leader as an unsure, anxious person — we expect them to analyze available information and arrive at a solid conclusion quickly, determine the best course, and assign everyone a task. The question here is what do we consider valuable information that’s worth analyzing?

This is when many people can heavily focus on the material reality of the problem. They think about costs, profits, time, and other measurable components. However, a conscious leader is aware that these are only a part of the equation. They know that they should start off by managing their own emotional response. They need to think about the feelings they’re experiencing and be aware of the way their judgement might be clouded. This is even more important because emotions can be contagious and employee’s ability to perform well may be influenced by leadership’s reaction. That’s why a good leader pays attention and manages the emotional side of a situation as carefully as they manage their analysis.

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