“The times are urgent. Let us slow down” (Bayo Akomolafe)
A leader was excited to tell us that she had recently taken on the global sustainability role in the organisation. A dynamic leader of 24 years in a FMCG business, she had made her way through the ‘leadership pipeline’ as Charan et.al. described. She had increasingly taken on more complex roles, in new contexts and cultures. Each significant turn in organisational position having major changes in job requirements. Demanding new skills, time application and values. And now she was given the responsibility of being the sustainability leader.
It has taken some time for sustainability to go from something given to the temp as window dressing corporate social responsibility, to being a systemic approach in the business. And part of C-Suite thinking and CEO role modelling. So whenever good leaders announce their new sustainable role, like on LinkedIn, it gives me hope.
A conscious choice
Momentum is gaining. Time is of the essence. We need our leaders to go full steam ahead for people and planet. It is the #decadeforaction.
And so paradoxically, it is at this critical transition, this important juncture that such leaders need to stop. Pause. Slow down. And not in an imposed Covid19 way. But a conscious choosing.
Because this is not just another change, another complex role. To use the caterpillar analogy, even big changes like shedding our skin can only take us so far. At some point, something more transformational needs to happen. As Schein (2015) captured, sustainability is the ultimate team sport. And for this reason, a chrysalis stage is required.
Earth Converse Leadership Journey
At Earth Converse we take a whole-system, mindful and nature-based approach to our conversational work with leaders across sectors. Our Earth Converse Leadership Journey is tailored for leaders who are ready to step up to their people and planet responsibilities. Where we invite them to pause. To take a fresh perspective on nature, leadership and collaboration.
The journey provides space for stillness, and encouragement to adopt a “beginners mind”. To practice presence and intimate intelligence that creates ripples of resilience, wellness and wealth. And a chance to reflect on our experiences and learnings so far, and even to scrutinise the lens of that reflection. As Peter Drucker encourages us to do, ‘follow effective action with quiet reflection’.
Registration for the next journey closes on 22 September 2022. For information and registration, please go to this link.
What do I get out of it?
A better life for everyone. That’s the point. It’s for everyone and for every living thing.
Christiana Figueres on Outrage + Optimism.
- Charan, Ram., Drotter, Steve. and Noel, Jim. (2011), The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company (2nd ed), Jossey-Bass, US
- Schein Steve, (2015), A New Psychology for Sustainable Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews, Greenleaf Publishing Limited, UK
- A reference to double loop learning as advocated by Argyris, C. and Schön, D. (1974) Theory in practice: Increasing professional effectiveness, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- A reference to what he calls ‘the Great Work’: Berry, Thomas (1999) The Great Work, Bell Tower, US
- Tolle, Eckhart (2005), The Power of Now,Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, UK – reference to his “are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess?” 65.
- Asking the big questions and going beyond ‘sustainable’ to ‘regenerative’ as advocated by Wahl, Daniel Christian (2016), Designing Regenerative Cultures, Triarchy Press, UK
- Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash