Whenever I have experienced a group’s commitment to collective action for sustainability, there was an insight palpable in the room: Leading for sustainability is not an act in isolation. It requires
- leadership by various individuals towards a similar goal on a collective scale,
- trust in a common goal that everybody will contribute to differently, yet in alignment
- cross-sector collaboration without hierarchy or central coordination
- a preparedness to join a collective learning journey.
I believe the capacity for leading, initiating, facilitating and sustaining the construction of meaningful futures is enfolded in all of us. In that way collective leaders
- create pathways for collaboratively finding innovative solutions to the challenges of sustainability
- implement them in a spirit of collective responsibility
- foster collaborative action
- secure collective input into the co-creation of a future that many can own
- know that this requires personal maturity
- have the capacity to the lead structural change required for sustainability.
A contribution to more sustainable action in the world requires parallel development of our inner resourcefulness, reﬂection, mindfulness and its expression in the outer world as re-deﬁned leadership contribution. Collective Leadership for Sustainability has more impact when it is embedded in a parallel process of inner transformation. Outer action and inner development need one another and have a reciprocal effect – if one is missing, the other is lost or falls short of its potential.
We need to develop personal and strategic abilities to enhance collective leadership, because it is contagious: where a culture of collective leadership prevails people take up responsibility unasked.
This blog post looks at the Collective Leadership Compass as a whole and here specifically at the level of individual leadership skills to lead collectively. For more insights on leading collectively with the Compass, subscribe to my blog.