Conscious Leaders Aren’t Better – They Are Different

Although we’ve tried to explain why we think the Conscious Travel movement is different in an earlier post here; the following image and the Primes’ animation sum it up perfectly.

“A butterfly is a transformation, not a better caterpillar.”  

Humanity is being called to transform itself, not simply change.

Transformation At Work

We don’t think that the future of tourism is about being more of the same (as expressed by the forecasters at UNWTO); or even just about being better (delivering a higher yield or net benefit); but really about a completely different vision altogether. The problem is that that a new “vision” has not yet been articulated or shared by enough people to become an alternative reality. So the movement part of Conscious Travel is really about the shift in consciousness needed to create a new vision that transforms our sense of self and our understanding of what is possible.

The Primes – a change management consulting company  – provides a concise yet dynamic explanation of the distinction between  Change Vs. Transformation here.

After watching this video distinction, it’s not hard to see that the tourism community is dominated by managers all beavering away with the admirable intention of making matters bigger and desirably better but, in so doing,  are  stuck in a form of time warp as the future can be nothing but an extension of the past.

True leaders – people we call Conscious Leaders – are free of the past. Their vision creates an imaginary future that has no ties to a past and is free, like a balloon that has escaped a child’s grasp,  to drift over the rooftops in search of a new home.

According to Chris McGoff, the purpose of leaders is to create visions that followers will  fall in love with.

Change, which is about fixing the past, is done by managers.

Transformation, which is about creating a new future, is done by leaders.

Are you ready for leadership?

4 Responses to “Conscious Leaders Aren’t Better – They Are Different”

  1. Very interesting debate Anna. It’s the sam iin so many areas ofbusiness. As a ledership coach I interveiwed a number of inspiring leaders to discover what it was that encouraged others to follow them from the heart as well as/or even instead of the head. Almost without exception, their egos were healthily in check and they focused on others. (The 3 core elements we identified in Inspiring Leadership were Vision, Value & Passion.)

    Having spent a few days with Lynne Gray at WTM2011 I have been fnding out sustainable tourism andher passion is undeniable. . John McCarthy had a whole prog today on Excess Baggage – v interesting.

    I’ll share this in The Quirky Traveller FB page – thank you for a thoughtful article.


  2. Anna,
    Love your comment about Conscious Leaders being free from their past and completely free to create into the future. If we are able to transcend our Identity or Ego as conscious leaders, and act outside of its limitations, then the choice to make decisions and take actions entirely outside of who we have seen ourselves to be in the past gives us ultimate and infinite freedom.
    Best wishes,


    • Thanks Gina – in my own presentations I often make the distinction between incremental change and step, phase or quantum change but I think Chris McKoff really helps us understand what Transformation really means. My biggest learning right stems from a dawning “knowing” that we can and must create a new future that is not bogged down in the unexamined assumptions from our past. That requires being very awake, aware and alert i.e. conscious!

      I also like your reference to ego – business leaders are especially prone to thinking they must come up with all the solutions. How many times have you been asked – tell me what to do? People gravitate to those who offer 10 easy steps and in order to “sell” the concept of Conscious Travel I will need to provide same! So this inflated sense of being and needing to be in control persists. And then, of course, there are the institutional egos which can be even more deadly…

      Thanks again for entering and sustaining the conversation in such a helpful way Gina.



  1. Moments of Transformation « Your Personal Motivator - November 9, 2012

    […] to Conscious Travel for the […]


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