A few weeks ago I came across the book Conscious business: how to build value through values as well as a video (featured below) by its author Fred Kofman, VP of Leadership and Organizational Development at Linkedin, in which he discussed the concept of Conscious Business, after having created a methodology (and an academy) that has helped most of the world’s top companies in their quest for in-house talent training and that we can all use for free now.

Since all of us are either reinventing ourselves or in the process of doing so (change is the only thing that remains constant in this fast-changing world), who better than a Linkedin VP to help us figure out what the world needs and what we need to change in order to maximize our potential, right?

I would like to share with you my favorite concepts of his speech, which is full of simple yet powerful messages. Deep concepts explained simply, or, as Leonardo Da Vinci would say, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

Here are 6 essential transformations to lead a conscious business (and more important, a conscious life):

1. From blaming to owning:

Let’s face it: we all love to be victims. And even if we didn’t cause it, we contributed to create the reality in which we exist. Let’s be responsible, but in the sense of being “able to respond”, let’s face our choices and live with them. Instead of being a victim, let’s be a player.

my responsibility

2. From winning to meaning:

You don’t need to win to mean something.

Actually, most of the most meaningful things that happen to us in life happen when we don’t win…

Meaning is more than winning. Meaning is finding a noble purpose (i.e: a project that we love), it is being ethical and adding value in what we do. Fulfilling your purpose is the best win you can have.

3. From knowing to learning

Every time we raise our hand is to show that we know something. And when we don’t know, we try to pretend that we know.

Learning is about showing humility, as we saw in a previous post. It is about the joy to open up to new possibilities, so let’s stop trying to prove that we’re always right and magic will happen.

4. From pleasing other people to truth telling

“Stop altering your story to be liked by others and start telling the truth to be liked by yourself.”

We tend to please people instead of help them, because it is hard to say something that could hurt. The temptation to please other people is big, but the accountability to give them valuable feedback should be far bigger and the reward goes to them…and to us. To achieve this, we will work hard to keep the “trust flame lit”. Building trust is a full-time job…

5. From defaulting to delivering

We are too used to not fulfilling our promises. We say “yes, I’ll do it”, and then we don’t.  We give our word and we dishonor the word. And the worst thing is that people get used to it. Conscious leaders show integrity and honor their promises.


6. From bossing to leading

For Kofman, “bossing is using sticks and carrots: reward and punishment. If you don’t read, I’ll take your iPads away. When you are leading, you don’t want your kids to read, you want them to want to read”.

It is so much easier to boss than to lead. But bossing doesn’t make things any better. Being an example does. Inspiration is like gasoline: the more we put in our children’s or employees’ deposit, the further we will all go.

These six transformations will be my new semester’s resolutions, my new best friends for the rest of the year, and hopefully they will be useful for some of you in your professional and personal endeavors.

After all, if we are not the same person at home and at work, then we are probably not being true to ourselves at one of them…

Have a great week,

Pedro Díaz Ridao

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