self-awareness, personal development | Develop Your Leadership Consciousness with this Practical Take on the Hierarchy of Needs

Leadership is not just a title. It’s a way of being that requires constant growth and evolution. Great leaders are not just born; they are made through self-awareness, personal development, and a willingness to shed their fears and restrictions to become true visionaries. That’s where Leadership Consciousness comes into play.

Richard Barrett, the founder of management consultancy firm The Barrett Values Centre, developed The Seven Levels of Leadership Consciousness as a way to help leaders achieve self-actualization. These seven levels are divided into two pyramids based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. 

When I first learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in my own leadership journey, it helped me immensely in developing the understanding that I needed to manage the personalities of my staff more effectively. As well as communicate more effectively and inspire, motivate and engage my team better. Now discovering that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can also be used to develop your leadership consciousness is yet another plus for this quite versatile tool that every leader should have in their arsenal. 

The first pyramid focuses on personal values such as survival, security, power, and control, while the second pyramid covers higher-order emotional values such as creativity, purpose, and meaning.

Let’s take a closer look at each level and see where you currently are as a conscious leader:

Surviving: Crisis Manager

At this level, leaders are focused on their own physiological and safety needs. They are driven by fear and survival instincts, and their actions are reactive rather than proactive. Crisis Managers are always on the alert for potential threats and take a cautious approach to leadership.

Relationship: Relationship Manager

Leaders at this level start to recognize the importance of teamwork and motivation. They focus on building positive relationships with their team and seek acceptance and emotional support from others. Relationship Managers value loyalty and belonging and prioritize the needs of their team over their own.

Self-Esteem: Manager Organizer

At this level, leaders start to focus on their own self-respect, status, and recognition. They are driven by power and self-confidence and seek attention and appreciation from others. Manager Organizers are skilled at organizing and delegating tasks and are motivated by success and achievement.

Transformation: Facilitator Influencer

Transformational leaders focus on change, creativity, and innovation. They value self-fulfillment through new, challenging experiences and are not afraid to take risks. Facilitator Influencers have a strong sense of purpose and are skilled at inspiring and motivating others to follow their lead.

Internal Cohesion: Integrator Inspirer

Leaders at this level take responsibility for the development and well-being of their team. They strive for social justice, harmony, and concern. Integrator Inspirers prioritize the collective good over individual needs and work collaboratively to achieve the common goals of the group.

Making a Difference: Mentor Partner

Leaders at this level focus on making a positive impact on society. They value integrity, empathy, and leaving a positive legacy. Mentor Partners are skilled at mentoring and nurturing the talents of others and are motivated by a desire to make a difference in the world.

Service: Wisdom Visionary

At the highest level of Leadership Consciousness, leaders serve others selflessly and without ego. They are driven by spirituality and a desire to serve humanity. Wisdom Visionaries have a deep understanding of human nature and are skilled at creating a vision that inspires others to bring about positive change in the world.

The journey towards self-actualization through Leadership Consciousness requires self-reflection, personal development, and a commitment to growth. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s one that is essential for anyone who wants to become a true visionary.

In conclusion, Leadership Consciousness is a powerful tool that can help leaders isolate their needs, shed their fears and restrictions, and become true visionaries. By aligning personal values with higher-order emotional values, leaders can achieve self-actualization and inspire others to do the same. 

So, become a true visionary today and start your journey towards Leadership Consciousness right now. 

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Barrett, R. (2006). Leadership development: aligning values and consciousness. Handbook of industrial, work and organizational psychology, 3, 633-648.

Barrett, R. (2019). The seven levels of consciousness model: An overview. Retrieved from

Develop Your Leadership Consciousness with this Practical Take on the Hierarchy of Needs

August 12, 2023

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