11 April 2023
The concept of “sustainable leadership” appears in many contexts since working life has become increasingly complex and limitless. But what does it actually mean?
Sustainable leadership cannot be defined in a few words. Instead, it is “conditions and prerequisites, both at the organizational and individual level, to be able and willing to have a leadership role in modern society”. A sustainable leader is a person who is committed to leading their organization in a way that promotes long-term sustainability on many different levels. Sustainable leadership is the key to achieving sustainability across the entire organization. It is about constantly relating to who you want to be and what kind of world you want to help build – regardless of the type of business you are in.
Consequently, sustainable leadership is not only about being environmentally conscious – although that is an important aspect. It is also about being socially responsible and ensuring that the organization operates ethically and beneficially for all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community.
To lead with purpose
A focus on purpose is one of the most important elements of sustainable leadership. Leaders committed to sustainability clearly understand why their organization exists and how it contributes to the world. They are able to express this purpose to their employees, customers and stakeholders and work consistently to ensure that the organization’s actions are aligned with its purpose.
Another vital element of sustainable leadership is a focus on innovation. Leaders committed to sustainability are constantly looking for new and better ways of doing things. It can be about finding more efficient processes, developing new products or getting involved in more meaningful ways. This focus on innovation ensures that the organization constantly evolves and adapts to changing circumstances, an essential prerequisite for long-term sustainability.
Sustainable leadership also means being open and honest about the organization’s environmental and societal impact. Sustainable leaders measure and report important sustainability metrics and are willing to take responsibility for their actions.
Finally, sustainable leadership requires cooperation and commitment to achieve the objectives successfully. As a leader, you need to work closely with your employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to develop solutions that are beneficial to all. A sustainable leader is present, listens, integrates different perspectives and builds strong relationships based on trust, confidence and mutual respect.
In conclusion, sustainable leadership is a decisive factor in ensuring an organization’s long-term success. It is no longer enough to avoid making mistakes; one is expected to proactively approach sustainability and make the right choice in every situation. The starting point is the common agreement you have already built about who you want to be and what you want to stand for in front of customers, owners and society.
Sources: Sustainable leadership in complex organizations and businesses | With sustainable leadership, everyone is a winner | Sustainable leadership – a matter of survival | Sustainable leadership – a good start for successful organizations
Sustainable leaders contribute to a better tomorrow
The certainty that our work has a higher purpose – to actually make the world a little better – drives us at Michaël Berglund. We strive to do our utmost every day and in every assignment to find the best possible solution. We see it as our responsibility to recruit and develop good leaders who contribute to a better tomorrow in business and society.
Are you curious about how we at Michaël Berglund Executive Search work with recruiting and developing sustainable leaders? You are welcome to contact us using the details below.
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About Michaël Berglund
Michaël Berglund AB is a locally owned business, established in Stockholm in 1985, with an exceptional knowledge of the Swedish market and its dynamics. Executive Search is the cornerstone of our business, and we help our clients identify, evaluate and recruit the best-suited people to key senior positions, most often at the board or executive level. We believe that successful leaders create a better world. In addition to Executive Search, we also offer Interim Management, Board Services including Board Reviews and Executive Education, and Leadership Development Services. Michaël Berglund AB has been an active and proud member of IIC Partners since 2000.