Whenever we experience a group’s commitment to collective action for sustainability, one thing is palpable: 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 – which everybody will uniquely contribute to yet remain in alignment with
- 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 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.