Leadership with Consciousness by Tony Humphreys

Brendan D. Kelly

Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 1 June 2012

“Leadership With Consciousness” will undoubtedly join the ranks of Dr Humphrey’s other successful books: it is clear, incisive and timely.  Dr Humphreys argues that various economic processes, such as those which contributed to the economic crisis of 2008 onward, are enmeshed with defensive emotional processes at individual level.  At least some of these processes are unconscious but powerful, and their potential effects of leadership, decision-making and other matters are explored throughout the book.

Placing these arguments in a strongly contemporary framework, Dr Humphreys draws much-needed attention to individual psychological processes which underpin society in general and the financial “system” in particular – a system which is so often blamed for recent economic and social turmoil.  This system does not, of course, appear out of a vacuum, and Dr Humphreys examines the role of undetected individual emotional processes in producing and shaping it.  In essence, Dr Humphreys argues that consciousness of the need to resolve unconscious defences is critical for effective leadership.  The final chapter, “Training for Consciousness”, focuses on specific steps necessary for this task, and provides a list of qualities for “leadership with consciousness”.