The Quality of Our Leaders Affects the Quality of Our Lives – a guest post by speakers Nancy Kepner and Julianna Christie

Research shows a majority — 67% — of employees worldwide are disengaged, and a hyperfocus on growth and profits is coming at the expense of people’s well-being. There are significant gaps in leadership where an old style reliant on control and blame tactics isn’t working.

To counter those trends and meet a market need, we started Crafted Leadership. We exist to bring conscious leadership into the global workplace.

What is conscious leadership?

Conscious leadership:

  • supports people to move out of an outdated command-and-control leadership model and into a new leadership paradigm
  • supports leaders to be more present, aware, and engaged. Leaders develop their ability to make ongoing choices from a place of 100% responsibility and to respond from creativity (instead of reactivity)
  • builds teams who trust one another and move through conflict without drama, while cultivating openness and curiosity
  • encourages participation and engages team members through operational integrity  
  • replaces turf wars with true collaboration, and openness to discovery invigorates the whole system
  • integrates an ongoing, open-loop feedback system
  • communicates the details in a way that invites wonder and that does not blame anyone or withhold key information
  • is the new norm for global work cultures

Crafted Leadership provides skills-based training around four tent poles of conscious leadership: self mastery, relational mastery, integrity, and improvisation. Focused attention to these areas builds teams of high trust and collaboration — sustainable alternatives to fear and burnout.

You lead by default or you lead by design

You’ve heard the saying, “natural leader.” Not exactly. Leadership is mostly a learned skill.  Those who lead by default manage through unconscious patterns and bias. Those who lead by design are self-aware and undefended. To lead by design is to put attention to learning and embodying leadership skills.

What are the key conscious leadership skills?

The Architecture of Inspiring Leaders is our model consisting of 13 skills that cover vital aspects of conscious leadership. These skills are simple, but they require practice and commitment. Practice is the difference between just talking about leadership and living it.

The Architecture of Inspiring Leaders

Conscious leadership develops emotional, social, and body intelligence. We call it whole body, whole person learning. For example, we learn to leverage our intuition for better decision-making; we influence others through resonance, not control; and we generate trust rather than fear.

Conscious leadership has a rational basis

Conscious leadership has a rational financial basis for companies as well. Dysfunctional leadership leads to turnover, which reduces productivity and revenue. By creating cultures of high-trust, relational value and relational capital is preserved, turnover is lower, and your company has more discretionary spending. High-trust teams positively correlate to high-performing teams, who help increase financial returns.

Conscious or unconscious leadership can be difference between success and failure for an organization. Which do you choose? 

If you agree or are interested in our mission, you can read more at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We’d love you to join our community of conscious leaders!

About The Authors

Nancy Kepner is the CEO of Crafted Leadership. Prior to co-founding Crafted Leadership, Nancy served in senior leadership for Denver-based nonprofits. In these roles, as well as global work experience, she experienced firsthand the challenges of leadership and saw the need for practical, actionable programs that helped people move from an individual contributor level to a successful leader of teams. Out of this need, and a decade of dedicated engagement and experimentation in leadership practices, the vision for Crafted Leadership was born.

Julianna Christie is the Chief Learning Officer of Crafted Leadership. Julianna has spent over 20 years in corporate settings, successfully facilitating conversations that take global organizations to the next level. Her expertise in strategic planning, leadership development and organizational transformation has yielded her a reputation as an inspiring facilitator and trusted, gifted coach focused on innovation, integrity, and growth.  

You can check out Nancy and Julianna’s panel Embracing Differences on Friday March 1st, 1:00pm-2:00pm @ Innosphere.