Digging into Conscious Capitalism

Recently I had the opportunity to facilitate a group interested in Conscious Capitalism. I am not unfamiliar with CC, however have never really subscribed. I came away with a new appreciation of its foundations and think it is worth sharing.

After a brief session to find some distance from our normal facade, acquainting ourselves with various dominant aspects of self, and looking inward; we turned the focus toward Conscious Capitalism.

In the four tenets of CC they use the acronym T.A.C.T.I.L.E.; Trust, Authenticity, Caring, Transparency, Integrity, Learning and Empowerment. These were the aspects I chose to facilitate.

Of note was the clarity that came around Authenticity.

In summary, there is only one way to express authenticity and that is to be you. Not the ‘you’ that the self/ego needs you to be for appearances. Whatever your authenticity is, you must bring it to a conscious culture, warts and all.

As an example, I do not recycle if it is the least bit inconvenient and my trash is full of packaging.

Moving from conscious participant to Conscious Leader it was clear that to be a successful conscious leader your embodiment-of (not your idea-of) Authenticity needs to include all the organizations individual Authenticities and create a container which allows them to execute the goals at hand.

Admitting that very few of us are either naturals at or have integrated Authenticity to the level of embodiment, the next best thing is to know our limits. Knowing our limits informs us of where we need to grow.

In practice, this is the optimal situation we can hope for; that our leaders know their limits and they are working on them.

It has been my experience working with people that our edges and growth needs are not nearly as difficult to discover as imagined. True there are some gnarly ones, but mostly they are only perspective we have not seen yet. Of course, our edges are usually obvious to everyone around us.

We also had a good interaction around Caring. I will not detail it here as it is more of an ah-ha thing, than describable. In brief, you can only Care as much as you are capable of Not-Caring. It came up because it is relevant to the CC community given the situation Mr. Mackey finds himself in.

To take the best Care of his organization he needed to be ‘OK’ with and Not-Care that a good run has come to an end, as they all do. He must Not-Care that many are thinking that in the end he sold out. He needs to Not-Care about a future path that he cannot control.

Sure, he could have clung to the past modus operandi and watched as store after store closed, quarter after quarter. Would that have been true Caring for his employees? certainly not for his other stakeholders; shareholders, customers, communities, etc…. In Conscious Capitalism stakeholders is an entire tenant, not only a component of conscious culture.

I don’t know the future of Whole Foods or Mr. Mackey and I am sure neither does he. Yet, I trust that he made the best of the current reality for all affected, not only himself. I also trust that the majority will voice they are the ones who came up short.

May your lives go well.