In Leadership With Consciousness Tony Humphreys posits that economic factors alone are not sufficient to explain the worldwide recession that started in 2008; indeed, he graphically points out that those economic processes are always enmeshed with powerful, often unconscious defensive emotional processes. These undetected emotional processes, particularly in leaders, pose great threat to economic, social and emotional prosperity. The seriousness of this threat has been exemplified by the revelations in western society of the hitherto unrecognised greed, avarice, secretiveness, narcissism, arrogance, bullying and superiority among the heads of important societal institutions such as banks and other financial institutions, property development companies and among leaders in government. A target-fixated mentality devoid of ethical values and trust predominated. Humphreys is very emphatic that we can no longer hide behind blaming of institutions or governments; it is crucial that we take on board that it is individual leaders who act inhumanely and unethically and responsibility always belongs with individuals.
The book argues strongly that it is the mature process of consciousness of the need to resolve their unconscious defences that lies at the heart of leadership effectiveness and development. The more leaders become conscious of this, the better they will be as leaders. The book sets out to facilitate leaders in this mature process by showing why and how unconscious defences are created, how they can be identified and how conscious resolutions can be found. When leaders lead with consciousness - when they are mature - everybody in society benefits.