I had the chance today to hear Bob Willard discussing his new book, The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook (New Society Publishers). The book is about leading organizations in the sustainability movement. He talks about the 7 Leadership practices essential for moving a company towards sustainability;
- Get credible, stay credible: Leaders must establish their credibility and build trust with their group and/or organization.
- Dialogue: Hone in on the communication skills and engage in thoughtful discussions. Be a good listener and be ready to hear about success and challenges.
- Collaborate, educate, network: Encourage collaboration and education among employees.
- Influence and influencers: Don’t do it alone, engage those individuals who have influence in an organization and seek their help, guidance and advocacy.
- Meet them where they are: Don’t push the skeptics, meet them where they are and show how sustainability strategies are important to their job and the organization.
- Piggyback existing initiatives: Create sustainability initiatives that align with current company goals and objectives.
- Practice ‘planful opportunism’ : Engage senior leadership in the initiatives.
If you haven’t read it yet, I also suggest Bob’s book called the Sustainability Advantage where he discusses the business case for sustainability.