Considering how lockdown changed the world we live in and the challenges we are currently facing and will be facing in the future, there is probably not a more appropriate time to make this radical mind shift change towards becoming more ‘conscious’.
The Oxford dictionary defines the the word ‘chief’ as a ‘leader or ruler of people or clan’ while it defines the meaning of the word ‘conscious’ as ‘aware of and responding to one’s surroundings’. Here are a few questions to understand how conscious we really are:
Our colleagues − Do we constantly fight for our own survival and climbing the success ladder, or do we truly care about our colleagues too? How do they feel, what are the challenges they face? Do we acknowledge their successes, making time to understand their passions and aspirations. Do we play an active role in their development and creating opportunities for them?
Our loved ones − Are we constantly working, or do we spend quality time with our loved ones? When we are with our loved ones, are we really present in the moment? Do we sit down with them asking them how they are and listen intensely to them, understanding their needs and fears? Build a real relationship with them.
Our community and environment − Is it all about building our own empire or do we actively make a difference in our communities? Do we live in our fancy castle, unaware of the circumstances most South Africans face daily? Complain about loadshedding without acknowledging there are people who don’t have electricity? Are we aware of climate change and doing our part to help save the planet? Do we use our knowledge and experience only for personal gain or do we share it with others who can benefit from it? Are we actively giving back our money, time, or knowledge to make an impact, in whichever way we prefer?
Our personal well-being − Is it all about meeting deadlines, spending long hours working, being loyal to our employers and growing our careers, or do we sometimes sit back reflecting about our personal wellbeing? Are we truly happy? Do we live the life we dreamt about? Are we taking care of our health? Or do we have dreams that we gave up on?
Maybe it is time that titles, earning good money and building successful careers are no longer the core focus. The time has come that we all become ‘conscious’ financial officers − conscious about our colleagues, loved ones, the community, and our personal well-being − conscious about the impact we make and the legacy we leave behind.
I recently attended the launch of the CFO Club. With the primary focus of the discussions dealing with the global movement towards a green economy and the need for executive climate and sustainability education, it was an interesting evening indeed. It was however a statement made by Dr Marko Saravanja, the CEO of the Regenesys Group, that caught my attention − it is time to change from being a ‘Chief Financial Officer’ (CFO) to becoming a ‘Conscious Financial Officer’. What a profound statement! It certainly made me consider how conscious am I about the people and environment around me.