The Do's and Don'ts of Sustainability Leadership

image: Do's and Don'tsOur sustainability practice continues its exploration of sustainable leadership and the qualities that differentiate between the best-in-class.  In previous posts such as, Key Qualities of Sustainable Leadership, we have focused our attention on the ‘dos’.  Today, our efforts will center on the ‘don’ts’.

A recent Forbes article, The Key to Great Leadership: Stop Overmanaging, creates a basis for this discussion.  In what may seem like a contrary perspective, the post examines what executives should ‘not’ do in order to be influential.  The author leverages the insight of Professor J. Keith Murnighan from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“Most effective leaders delegate almost everything they do to staff, keeping themselves free to oversee performance and think big. If they’re doing things right, they should be able to work a 35-hour week and still do great—while doing next to nothing with regard to day-to-day management.”

“Successful leaders must shift gears and, literally, do less of what they used to do, even though they were good at it,”

In order to execute this type of an approach, their leadership must be alignment in both understanding and action across the organization.  Our sustainability consulting believes effective leadership must develop a highly interactive flow of communication.  

A framework for executives to better communicate their desired message must remain aligned with their true business sustainability practices and/or products.  Our sustainability consulting stresses the importance of providing effective and valuable information to key company stakeholders.  

By encouraging business to recognize the value in providing transparency into the implementation of sustainability concepts into their core business functions, we advise leaders to ‘stop’ taking on business sustainability behind closed doors.  Instead, executives need to leverage strategies and tools to engage both internal and external stakeholders and enable them to implement common business sustainability objectives.   

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