Leaders Today Need To Have Sustainable Mindset: Clarke Murphy
These unprecedented times have made unexpected changes in the leadership dynamics of the whole world. Can you share key highlights or takeaways from the “Leadership for the Decade of Action” report that you have launched in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact?
The research paper, “Leadership for the Decade of Action,” reveals an urgent need for transformational business leaders who look beyond near-term profits to make the long-term sustainability and resilience of the world a top business priority.
According to the UN Global Compact, only 21 percent of CEOs feel that business currently plays a critical role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that were set up in 2015 to offer a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. Analysis by Russell Reynolds Associates also reveals that in only 4 percent of non-executive and senior executive appointments is sustainability experience or mindset a requirement.
To identify how organizations can make sustainability core to the DNA of their leadership teams, Russell Reynolds Associates and the UN Global Compact carried out in-depth interviews and background analysis on a group of close to 60 sustainability pioneers—CEO and board members from across continents and industries with a notable track record of focusing on and making progress towards sustainability goals in tandem with commercial results.
Our analysis defines the characteristics, actions and differentiating leadership attributes that fuel sustainable leaders’ success.
- Multi-level systems thinking – They incorporate the interplay of business, societal, and environmental systems and drive decisions that turn sustainability into a competitive advantage.
- Stakeholder influence – They don’t seek to manage stakeholders, rather they actively include them in defining and action-oriented decisions.
- Disruptive innovation – They possess the courage to challenge traditional approaches and cut through bureaucracy to drive the disruptive innovation needed to do away with the profitability-sustainability trade-off.
- Long-term activation – They do not simply have an orientation towards the long term, they set bold sustainability goals and rigorously drive concerted action in their pursuit.
Why is it essential to integrate sustainability into business strategy? How does it impact an organization set up and its stakeholders?
How do you go about embedding or encouraging or building sustainability into a strong leadership culture?