Monday, January 30, 2006

Don's Recipe for "Conscious" Leadership

Following my speech, I had several engaging conversations with folks at the IEDC Leadership Summit last week. Many of these dialogues centered on the "personal side" of leadership, or what I call "self-leadership," or leading your life in a conscious, caring, and meaningful way. I was asked to share what I do to strengthen my own self-leadership.

There are two aspects to my daily regime: 1) cultivating self-awareness, being in the now, and harmonizing my mind, body, and spirit; and 2) setting myself aside and being present for others.

Here are ten things I try to do every day to lead my life in a more "conscious" way:
  1. Meditate for 30 minutes each day. (Early morning works best for me.)
  2. Exercise for one hour each day. (Usually 30 minutes of some type of cardio, 15 minutes of weight training, and 15 minutes of tai chi/yoga.)
  3. Practice positive affirmation and cultivating feelings of well-being. My Conscious Living Journal website provides a daily vehicle for this. (10 minutes).
  4. Read on a daily basis. Because of my graduate training in Consciousness Studies, I am reading many books on spirituality, philosophy, psychology, and consciousness studies. (1 to 2 hours daily.) Many people will find this difficult because of the time commitment.
  5. Practice unconditional giving (love, caring, help, support) to my family and friends. (I try to do something specific for someone everyday. It can be a small thing that demonstrates my caring and love for others. (15 minutes daily)
  6. Practice unconditional giving to those needing help with economic development. I have regular contact with economic developers going through a career transition, students exploring opportunities in economic development, and other people who contact me through my Economic Development Futures Journal website and newsletter. (15 minutes daily)
  7. Acknowledge Nature's power and beauty each day. (Can be as simple as watching the birds at our feeders or gazing upon the beauty of my wife Mary's flower gardens.)
  8. Give thanks for my clients, business partners, and others I encounter in my economic development work.
  9. Remind myself every day that "leadership" is about serving others in a conscious, collaborative, and meaningful way. Set the right example and others will follow (not me necessarily, but their own true nature).
  10. Do my best to bring both my mind and heart to the work I do every day. Work on feeling something about the work I do and the people I serve.

A few people asked me: "How do find the time to do these things?" My answer is that I make the time because these things are important to making me a better person. I do these things because they make a real difference in my life and they pay real dividends in my work and other aspects of my life. For those who need a business answer, the return on investment (ROI) is huge!

Contact Don Iannone by email: or by phone at: 440.449.0753.


Dan said...

Wow! Don Iamone for President!

John Ettorre said...

A lovely list by and for a lovely guy. As always, we have much to learn from you, in part because you are always learning yourself, and applying it. My hope is that 2006 will be your best year ever.

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Dan and John.

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