As the first truly global accord, the Paris Agreement was monumental.

I can’t begin to imagine the work involved from the grassroots campaigners to the signatories that enabled this to happen.  Decades of hard work and cycles of complex international negotiations. A powerful reminder of what can be achieved through individual and collective action.

And the real work begun the day it was signed.  How to put this accord into force, and meet its aims.

And we know as individual citizens, we can make changes in our lives now. To help combat climate change and be more loving towards the earth and its inhabitants.  Recognising that we all, even the most laziest of us, have a part to play in creating a sustainable world, the UN provided a ‘lazy person’s guide to saving the world’.

Busy, lazy leaders

Perhaps we are all inherently lazy.  Working with leaders,  I wonder if actually many of the busy leaders are paradoxically, the lazy ones.

Those leaders swamped with tasks.  Who are desperate to get things off their desk. Wanting to get their direct report out of their office. Or respond to yet another demand from higher up. These leaders often take the lazy option of giving quick answers. They bark instructions. Or give their well-rehearsed opinion.  They fail to see the opportunity the occasion presents to them.  The possibility to pause, get off automatic pilot and listen. To inquire with courage and compassion.  The chance to go off a familiar path. Out of their comfort zone and let the other be truly heard. To dig into what is really going on.  To discover new realities and solutions rather than ‘clip one’s wings’ and create a sense of dependency. Through a fixed answer or view of the world.

For the lazy leader becomes unnecessarily busy.   Because the direct report they gave directions to, comes back time and time again. For their advice. Having not learnt to take ownership or think for themselves. Or hot potatoes continue to get passed down the line.  The lazy leader, having not helped to unleash potential in the other stymies the creation of new ideas and innovation. So they are forever chasing their tails. The lazy leader tells mindlessly rather than coaches consciously.  As a result, nothing advances or changes.  They just get drawn into a spiral of fire fighting. Rather than strategically driving transformation in the organisation.

So here’s my lazy leadership guide to saving the world.

  • Pause
  • Listen
  • Ask

The only thing, it may take some hard work.


Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash


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