Leading for sustainability

Leading for sustainability is expressing your creative potential as well as your ability to bring forth the world with others.

Although there is no need for radical break-ups, revolutions or sudden changes in activities,  it is important to listen to when your heart tells you:  “Here is a chance to redefine your leadership contribution”.

If you want to lead for sustainability, take small and consistent steps:

  1. Watch you heart – is it involved, where can you feel passion ?
  2. Act on the urge, no matter how small your steps are.
  3. Be persistent despite the odds and setbacks.
  4. Know that you need resilience and the willingness to risk some parts of your identity that you’re very used to.
  5. Risk it anyway.
  6. Keep your heart engaged and your mind open to feedback,
  7. Notice subtle shifts in values. What was important before might not be important anymore, and new preferences and values will emerge.
  8. Be humble enough to accept that you are entering a learning process.
  9. Begin a conscious search. What do other people do? What has been written about the aspects that interest you? Who is meeting where and when on issues that align with your new journey?
  10. Accept that you need time to search for the place where your redefined contribution will be of most value.
  11. Allow yourself to enter into an experimental phase. Try out what speaks to you, read what inspires you.
  12. Do not go down one path too quickly, but design your own research project.
  13. Embrace the present.
  14. Be aware of the possibilities for change that lie close to you
  15. Contact people you want to learn from or be inspired by.
  16. Value the humanness and imperfect aspects of the people you meet.
  17. Notice and honour chance encounters: sometimes they hold hints and pieces of wisdom that you can integrate into your journey.
  18. Remember: Other people are also journeying in search of meaning.
  19. Be on the lookout for fellow travellers: be sure that even in the most rational and pressurizing climate you are still in the midst of human beings with similar searches, aspirations and the desire to contribute.
  20. See through shortcomings (yours and others’) with compassion
  21. Assume that everybody has a deeper intention to serve the world, no matter how deeply buried.

Small steps can lead to big changes- both internal and in the world. It is time to join the increasing number of leaders for sustainability – and fullfill your true potential. 


This blog post looks at the dimension of HUMANITY and  zooms into MINDFULNESS and BALANCE in the Collective Leadership Compass at the level of multi-stakeholder initiatives. For more information on the Art of Leading Collectively, checkout the inside the book and  reviews on amazon.com, or get inspired by an onsite course that takes the compass into the daily challenges of navigating complex change

Categories: Accessing our humanity and Living the six capacities of Collective Leadership.

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