So, How Is Leadership Doing?

Well, when it comes to the big picture, leadership is performing badly. That is, on the sustainability front.

Clocks are ticking. Yet, ignored. Avoided. Banned.

In fact, leadership is crying out for attention. Leadership to a more sustainable future. From both a planetary perspective. And an economic perspective.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is: it’s a manageable challenge. For leadership. For systemic thinking. And all that it entails to mobilize the stakeholders.

And why?


  • from the planetary perspective, “business as usual is no longer an option.“ According to the Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, Johan Rockström: “we are threatening“ not only “the stability“ but indeed “the ability of planet Earth to support human development as we know it.“


  • from an economic perspective, “millions of people … live below the social foundation.“ According to economist and Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainabiliy Leadership, Kate Raworth: “one person in eight doesn’t have enough food to eat … one person in five has no access to electricity … and more than one in five … lives off less than $1.25 a day .“

Now, who better to take on this difficult and disagreeable task than leadership. Where complexity is the order of the day. And collaboration just a click away.

So, what is the call-to-action for you? For your organisation? For your industry?

Is this a call for leadership skills? No!

Is this a call for leadership competencies? No!

This is a call for a change in mindset! The days of independent achievers are numbered.

It’s interdependent collaboration which needs to be tabled. Yesterday as opposed to today.

Reframing! Reframing! Reframing! Within planetary boundaries. For the well-being of all. With stakeholders bracing themselves for a climate of adversity.

And the culprits? The villians? They are the unnoticed, independent warriors within us. In our thinking. In our language. In our behaviour. All hindering our capacity:

  • to understand more deeply;
  • to recognize more easily, and
  • to act more sustainably and inclusively.

Leadership is listening. With our ears. Our eyes. Our intuition. To thought leaders. To systems thinkers. To perspective shatterers. To reality checkers. All thriving on analysis, debate, and dialogue.

Leadership is collaborating. Where informed decisions need to be implemented. Not waived. Not shelved. Not put on ice. Not sidelined.

Leadership begins at home. In our intentions. In our actions. In our discipline.

It’s never too late. Until it’s too late.

So, what’s the time in your industry? Does leadership still have room to manoeuver?

photograph:  © freshidea / Fotolia.

By |2018-01-18T06:37:51-05:00January 17th, 2018|Sustainability|0 Comments

About the Author:

Honor Cooper-Kovács, the owner of tackt, has over 30 years experience working with business executives in international companies across Europe. Honor’s focus lies in supporting leaders to build on strengths, capitalise on differences and foster collaboration. If this is your first visit to the Triggering Excellence in Leadership blog, make sure to get a free copy of my Core Article on the 5 Best Practices to Trigger Excellence in Leadership.