Welcome to my new series on Conscious Leadership! In this series, I’m going to summarize some key principles from a book I read earlier this year: The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Warner Klemp. With this series, I hope to shed some light on the fast moving trend that is Conscious Leadership, and explain why you should consider integrating these 15 commitments into your existing leadership style or lifestyle, in general.


Earlier this year, I read The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. If you’ve taken some time to explore leadership styles, you are likely already familiar with others such as Servant Leadership. Conscious Leadership is another style that is gaining momentum, focused on inspiring and bringing out the best in people, fostering transformation, and managing beyond conventional profits. The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership serves as a guidepost for those wanting to lead in a Conscious way.

Reading The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership not only transformed the way I view leadership, but has changed my approach to work (and life), entirely. If you decide to pick up a copy, you can expect the principles within to apply in all sorts of ways, and to many nooks and crannies of your life that you wouldn’t expect. By reading the cover of the book, you may assume that this is a book that revolves solely around workplace ideology or methodology. Yet, I have found the principles in this book to be far reaching, being useful and transformative off the clock, too.

First, a bit of background on who’s behind the book– If you head on over to The Conscious Leadership Group‘s webpage, you’ll see their mission is simple:

“We support leaders and their teams to eliminate drama, build trust, and create conscious cultures.” – Conscious Leadership Group

The Conscious Leadership Group has worked with company’s such as Ebay and Whole Foods to “bring a radical new leadership conversation to the organizational world through coaching, consulting, forums, events, keynotes, and online resources”. While this business is behind the book, many other thought leaders are also behind the movement. A quick google search will lead you to many groups, blogs, and scholarly articles on the subject.

So, let’s jump straight to it….

Are you above the line or below the line?

Above the line

  • Open
  • Curious
  • Committed to Learning

Below the Line

  • Committed to being right
  • Defensive
  • Closed


Am I above the line, right now? This is the simple question that we can ask ourselves to see how well we are leading, or behaving in the world, in general. People who are above the line are open, curious, and committed to learning, while people who are below the line are committed to being right, defensive, and closed. Before you guilt-trip yourself, note that existing below the line is a normal state, so don’t feel bad when you realize you are typically below the line. The fear of being wrong is deeply ingrained in each of us, we are bound by instinct to defend ourselves, and we have long been resistant to change, as it could easily disrupt the many safeties to our survival which we have worked so hard to build up. Living below the line is a biological reality (for now), which we must combat consciously.

So, the entire point of becoming a Conscious Leader is to then 1) be conscious of where you are located (above the line or below it) and 2) consciously make an effort to stay above the line. The 15 Commitments will serve as guides on shifting our mindset and behaviors so that we stay above the line more easily and naturally than before, and they will also help us to shift above the line if we catch ourselves being below it. More importantly, becoming a Conscious Leader helps us to recognize when we are below the line in the first place, which is most of the battle.

Why Conscious Leadership?

Now, you might be saying, “Wait! Why should I even be interested in this in the first place? What are the benefits?”. At this point, the entire notion of Conscious Leadership may seem very vague and (hopefully not) like mumbo jumbo at first glance, but I hope you will hold out until the subsequent episodes (which will come soon!) where I will take you on a deep dive into each of the 15 Commitments and spell out exactly how they can benefit your work\life. For you impatient leaders, here’s a quick teaser:

“Conscious leadership is about awareness, being aware of how your own motivations and behaviors inspire and engage others — or not — and using these insights to more effectively sustain the growth and development of your organization and the people who comprise it. Today’s businesses face challenges like never before. Rapidly changing technology requires agility and innovation. To be successful in this knowledge economy where ideas, collaboration and speed rule, employees must be engaged. And to create that type of environment, leaders must learn how to lead consciously.” – Susan Taylor (Forbes Magazine)

Source: The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership

Not a Leader?

You may also be saying to yourself, “But, Amanda, I’m not a Leader. This doesn’t apply to me.”

Think again.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, is a leader. No matter your title, no matter your role, no matter if you work full time or have been retired for years. Sometimes you may not even have a choice, as you’ll see in the below video, which is a MUST WATCH if you are having doubts about your role as a Leader in the world. Please take 5 minutes to watch, and make sure to leave a comment below with your thoughts or questions.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 2 of the Conscious Leadership series, where we’ll dive into Commitment 1 of the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership.