Writing for Business Graduates Association, Arden University’s Head of the School of Leadership and Management, Alison Watson, has explored the qualities, skills, and attributes required in order to embed the concept of sustainability into being a leader, as well as why this will be important to businesses moving forward.
With more and more brands and businesses across a number of sectors look to implementing more sustainable practices, Alison writes: ‘Sustainability has become an issue that is impossible to ignore and businesses, in turn, have become compelled to act. The leaders of today must adapt quickly to meet this consumer demand – their businesses risk being left behind if they are unable to do so.’
Alison suggests a number of ways in which leaders can begin to act in a more sustainable way including:
1) Long Term thinking
As Alison explores, while a hallmark of the modern CEO is in-the-moment decisiveness, future leaders can become more sustainable leaders by making sure to align ‘Short-term business objectives with longer-term, strategic plans that consider objectives related to economic health, the environment, people and society.’
By thinking further into the future, it makes it easier to make decisions that demonstrate an understanding of humans’ position in the world.
‘The best sustainable leaders are expert collaborators who seek involvement in networks that can broaden their understanding of the business landscape and the way it impacts our world,’ says Alison.
Sustainable leaders should make sure not only how to collaborate and work together with their own workforce, but with other businesses and networks that can help bridge understandings of how they fit into, as well as impact, the world.
3) Effective educators
Finally, in order to best communicate and implement change into a business leaders need to not only be able to make important, sustainable decisions. They also need to be able to communicate the rationale behind them. As Alison says, ‘the best leaders take others along on this journey with them, not only by influencing and inspiring, but also by educating their teams so that they understand the reasons behind the decisions being made.’
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