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Essential Traits of a Sustainable Leader

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You may have been hearing a lot about sustainable leadership, but might not be familiar with the term. Sustainability leadership is a process of influence that delivers direction, alignment and commitment, and aims to address social, environmental and economic issues to create a better world. Of course, this year has introduced several new challenges, including environmental, social and economic issues. Therefore, companies are interested in leaders that understand how to resolve such issues in a sustainable way.

If you are looking to create a sustainable culture in the workplace, you must focus on transparency and honesty. Be honest with yourself when determining the shortcomings of your leadership in terms of behaviors that can sabotage development and performance. With hard work, you can create an honest and transparent work environment for your team. This is crucial when dealing with sustainability risks in every corner of the business — from the supply chain to negative branding.

Another way to become a sustainable leader is to keep environmental concerns front-of-mind. Identify the major environmental risks, such as climate change, water usage, employee transportation, emissions output, telecommuting and distribution chain policies to name a few. Analyze how these issues affect the long-term sustainability of your organization and their social impact to determine what can be done to curb future harm.

Lastly, talk to your team! Employees often have ideas about ways to improve sustainability within the company. According to a 2019 HP Workforce Sustainability Survey, 96 percent of respondents indicated they would be willing to recommend their workplace if they felt their employer’s sustainability practices were ahead of the industry. It may be beneficial to team up with your HR department and find ways to  gather feedback from your employees on these issues, allowing them the opportunity to feel heard. Great ideas come from across all levels within an organization, so let’s work together to become more sustainable.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist