Developing sustainable leadership skills for long-term success

Most people have heard the word “sustainability” when it comes to the shared responsibility we all have to reduce our carbon footprint or make smarter eco-friendly choices. However, sustainability also represents an important shift in how many organizations approach business leadership.

The concept of sustainable leadership represents a company mindset in which many, if not all, of the decisions made are based on social, environmental and economic factors. Instead of being driven solely by their own best interests, these decisions are primarily focused on creating positive changes for our planet and the well-being of everyone, including employees.

The reason why this can be such an important position for companies to take is that it actually helps to attract top talent and build stronger relationships with customers. While sustainable leadership helps to build a better world, it also helps to build a better business.

Key Sustainable Leadership Skills

Sustainable leadership requires a collection of skills to be developed and used together to help drive positive change. Below are some of the core skills that sustainable leaders require.

Systems thinking. Systems thinking is another way of looking at the bigger picture and finding the best possible solution for a problem. Sustainable leaders are able to interact with a wide group of people while helping them avoid distractions or reduce the impact of going down the wrong road when trying to achieve something.

Collaborative mindset. No one individual is able to move the needle forward on some of the complex environmental and social challenges we face today. This is why sustainable leaders are always looking for active, healthy partnerships to help them. 

Although employees and vendors can always become great members of a team when facing larger issues, even competitors can work together to help introduce solutions that benefit everyone.

Long-term vision. Being too short-minded can be dangerous for an organization. This is why sustainable leaders always think about the long term and are not overly distracted by early successes. They tend to think about the generations of individuals that will come after them and look for new ways to create more opportunities for everyone in the future

Adaptability. There is nothing static about the world we’re living in. With things changing so quickly, it’s important to remain adaptable to new changes as they come and embrace them as opportunities for learning and growth. Sustainable leaders are ones who are always willing to experiment and embrace new innovations in their industry to stay ahead of the curve.

PREMIUM CONTENT: April 2024 Jobs Report

How to Develop Sustainable Leadership Skills

Get educated. There is so much information available for company leaders when it comes to sustainability and management training. Whether you’re looking to become more tuned in to how you can make a difference in society or help inspire your employees to do the same, there are various courses, books and tradeshow conferences dedicated to these initiatives that you can take.

Find mentors. Mentorship can be a powerful motivator to continue improving yourself and the impact you have on others. Reach out to other experienced and influential leaders in your niche to see how they’ve achieved the things they have. You can learn from their success and failures in life while helping you accelerate your own growth.

Build networks. As a leader, it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people in both your professional and personal life. It’s important to build and maintain a strong network that can collaborate with and support you on any of the projects you undertake. Consider volunteering for a cause you support or joining a committee with a social activism group. 

Take action. The best way to learn how to become a sustainable leader is by taking action. Start by incorporating small positive changes in your day-to-day. Keep the positive outcomes you’re trying to achieve top of mind and let them drive your decisions on projects or interactions with others.

Become a Better Company Leader

Sustainable leadership is an important feature in today’s growing businesses. By developing the skills mentioned and having the right mindset as you move forward, you’ll be able to make a lasting difference in society while helping to inspire your employees to do the same.

Cecilia Gorman

Cecilia Gorman
Cecilia Gorman is the owner of Creative Talent Partners, a training consultancy that specializes in the development of rising managers and their teams.

Cecilia Gorman

Share This Post


Recent Articles

Powered by ·