By Dhruva Jagasia
“Conscious company” is a pair of words that have been thrown about for at least a couple decades now. I sort of knew what type of company “conscious” was referring to when I first enrolled at Marlboro College, seeking my Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on “Conscious Business”. Now, those characteristics are much clearer to me. First and foremost, a conscious company is one that cares about more than just profits; it cares about its employees and the environment. Triple-bottom-line thinking is at the heart of its decision-making. It is conscious and aware of its impacts on employees and the planet. It is connected to global currents of change. It is aware of how its employees feel at work and in life. And it keeps its perspectives rooted in the ground and its vision high in the sky. A conscious company thinks on the micro level, the macro level, and the systems level.
I had always dreamed of working in a conscious company. And now that dream has come true at Global Round Table Leadership. I’d like to describe for you what that feels like.
First, working with Global Round Table Leadership (GRTL) is humanizing. Even in the last sentence, I used “with” instead of “for” because GRTL’s and my mission are so aligned. My whole self, which includes how I am feeling emotionally, spiritually, and physically, is honored and cared for at work. My whole self also includes my quirks, my oddities, and my darkness - all of what make me uniquely me. When our meetings begin with a check-in, the question “How are you?” is not asked out of obligation or formality. It means “how is your heart, your mind, your body?”, and the answer is both valued and considered. All the different parts of me and my life, are valued and considered.
Working with GRTL is empowering. I have worked in organizations that have claimed to have “flat hierarchies” (which is an oxymoron, by the way), but they were actually incredibly hierarchical. At GRTL, agency and power are both shared, served with a heaping side of respect. And because we all have agency, power and respect, we feel accountable to the whole. This power has been entrusted to me, so I own it and produce the best possible work because I am both empowered and cared for.
Working with GRTL fills me with self-belief and I am treated like I am an equal. Have you ever been made to feel small, delegitimized, or simply “not enough” in the workplace? I certainly have, and as a result, I felt dejected and deflated, decreasing my desire to do good work. Because GRTL believes in both my individual brilliance, as well as the collective wisdom of the team, I feel like I have a shield protecting me from feeling small, inadequate or unworthy. This makes me want to work harder to be my most creative and innovative, and this also reduces pressure, knowing that if I can’t find the answer individually, we can find it together.
Furthermore, being an immigrant with brown skin and a name that’s hard to pronounce for most people have brought me both richness and difficulty. At GRTL, the diversity I bring is celebrated, honored, and respected. We have open and honest conversations about race, ethnicity, and about many of the things that appear to make us humans more different than similar.
GRTL makes me feel valued. Why is that important? Because “thank you so much” makes me want to go the extra mile. I do not take my work for granted. Yes, my work is my job, and I must produce good work to receive compensation. But when my work is recognized and appreciated, I am freed to be more creative and innovative, to work both smarter and harder. And so, good work becomes great work.
Working with GRTL makes me feel like I am making a broader impact. Every company has a mission statement, but does every company honor it by acting on it? GRTL’s mission aims to create meaningful change in workplaces, and, more importantly, in the world at large. It strives to create systemic change, so not only are we happier and more fulfilled at work, but we are globally connected to each other, our equality, our wholeness, our wisdom, and to our own humanity. The work I do on a daily basis goes beyond the incredible clients we work with; I believe that it touches the world, because we maintain a global focus and objective, and also because we work with systems leaders. That is incredibly fulfilling and it keeps me connected to our global community.
When you care for your employees, trust them, believe in them, give them agency, power, respect and gratitude, you create an atmosphere where your employees want to work smart, hard, and well. When you honor their diversity and you connect their work to the world, you create a place where employees want to stick around for the good times and the challenging times, grow with their company, and where they feel that their colleagues are family.
At Global Round Table Leadership, we laugh together and we cry together. We honor the darkness and the light. We sit in discomfort together. We are dedicated to our mission of “igniting our human potential to work courageously together by harnessing the genius of our grand diversity.” Thankfully, for me and for our clients, we walk our talk.