I’ve been writing this book for years. Literally. I started about 7 years ago when I first began wondering how consciousness and business went together. At that stage, my ideas were still rather unformed and highly theoretical, so when I read back what I’d written it sounded terribly pompous like I was putting up ideas on a pedestal, and just plain boring!

At that time, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia’s Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business wasn’t even out yet and, in fact, the Conscious Capitalism movement was limited to a white paper of an idea by John Mackey and a web page I found somewhere by Raj, either referring to or representing the seeds of an idea for Firms of Endearment. The word ‘conscious’ had not yet caught up with the word ‘business’ yet, at least not in the mainstream. It was 2010, only 7 years ago, yet it seems like 70 in terms of the strides we’ve made in conscious, responsible and sustainable business.

Becoming a Conscious Leader went through two more iterations until it reached the form it is in now. What made the difference was the stories of the conscious leaders I found and who I interviewed. These are the unsung heroes of business and organisations – and they deserve to be sung. It was fascinating to talk to them. Their stories of how they came to be ‘awake’ – either by realising this in early childhood or going through some kind of crisis – touched my heart. The way they see the world, as a collection of connections, as one indivisible whole to which they feel responsible for contributing, is inspirational. Many times, as I was writing about the things they said, I was so touched I actually cried.

Their words represent the way we can all be if we plug into the highest versions of ourselves. Their views promote hope for humanity. I hope that when you read this book they will inspire you to look beyond yourself, beyond our everyday squabbles and irritations and annoyances and grievances, beyond what divides us, even killing each other over our ideas, and look up to the heavens, to what unifies us and to what we can become. This is a book, I hope, that will lift us all up in the way we see through the examples of others.

15 October 2016