Are you a Sustainable Leader? Should you be?

In the world we live in today there are a number of values that are held in high esteem.  Some of these values are the same as those we have always held dear and others have come into play more in the last 30 years.  Sustainability is one of these values that seems to have gained favor during this more recent period.

What is sustainability and what does it mean to be sustainable.  Here is an official definition of the word sustainable:



  1. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.   "sustainable fusion reactions"

  2. able to be upheld or defended.   "sustainable definitions of good educational practice"

In concept, the word sustainable means being able to keep things at a certain level or to make things such that they can be supported or defended.  Not bad concepts at face value, but are they good concepts for Leadership?  Let us discuss how they may or may not be the best concepts for leaders to aspire to.

Management is mainly about monitoring and measuring things as they are in many cases while Leadership is more about change.  Effecting change in the workplace or in any environment is essential because things are often in a state where they will need to be modified or improved.  Sustainability, at face value, may seem to challenge the concept of change and improvement because the word “maintain” is used as part of the core definition.  Leadership is not about maintaining, but it is about improving.  When might a leader wish to maintain versus change?  Here are a few examples:

  1. You are leading a group that is undergoing changes in the external environment that are outside of the control of the group.  Maintaining focus and effort would be essential during such a time
  2. You are leading a group that is part of a merger or acquisition.  Again, maintaining  sort of order or structure would be of importance.

Sustainable leadership is a concept that we will talk about more in the coming week.

Come back and join us as we delve deeper into the realm of sustainability in the area of Leadership.