Sustainability is one of those terms that is constantly being bandied around in the modern world. From the perspective of a leader, the whole approach to driving change involves 80% leadership, but 20% management. In sustainability, leadership is crucial in driving changes, but while there are many suggestions about the key attributes a sustainable leader needs to embody, here are some of the most important things that you need to have at your disposal.
It’s vital for every business leader to have consideration of the bigger picture. Additionally, they need to consider how it’s going to impact their business. Because the fact is if you start to have environmentally-friendly custom plastic packaging in place as a way to be more sustainable right now, the fact is in a few years’ time, what may be sustainable now could be replaced by something far more beneficial. It’s not necessarily about following the trends, but it’s about understanding what is best for your business right now while having a keen eye on how and when things are going to change.
A Solid Vision
Of course, a great leader needs to have a vision, but one of the biggest problems many part-time entrepreneurs have is that they are too amenable. This is why something like a business plan is so important. Some resources will tell you that you need to have a business plan that can be altered based on the changing needs of the business, however, the other approach is that you’ve got to have a business plan in place that really does make the company a malleable entity, regardless of what occurs. And this is not an easy thing to get right. Your vision is the defining factor, but it’s not just about what you believe, but how you go about leading and what you believe is best for the business in the long term.
A great leader doesn’t necessarily know everything about sustainability or all the relevant practices, but they have an understanding of how each discipline links in with each other. You are the person that’s playing with the chessboard, so therefore you need to know what each piece does and which ways it can and cannot go. This is why a great leader is always the dumbest person in the room. But rather than lacking in intelligence, they have the inquisitive nature to really find out how these pieces can fit together.
A sustainable leader can struggle to become more emotionally intelligent in changing times. You will have many departments coming at you saying that there are essential changes that need to be made right away, whether it’s in your branding or in how you are making changes to your product to suit the needs of an ever-changing market. But the emotional intelligence component is something that can only be learned over time. It’s about getting comfortable in your shoes so you have that power to lead everybody in the right ways. When sustainability invariably comes up, the pressure to constantly kowtow is there. An emotionally intelligent leader is always someone who knows when to take a step back.