Building Competency for Sustainable Leadership in 2021 and Beyond
The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 was an eye-opener for most business leaders and every human being on this planet. With a drastic change in customers’ demand patterns and a radical shift in the working culture, along with the challenges faced by the marketing teams, all of us had a unique experience of survival and leading our businesses with passion and vision to reach new milestones. The financial calamity that hit various companies led to the imminent rise of sudden attrition rate and pay-cuts. On the other hand, some industry verticals generated high revenues by converting challenges into opportunities. Navigating through new pressures, the pioneers displayed grand narratives, taking the ultimate test of leadership. Reflections of sustainable leadership revealed the best practices and strategies that are important to thrive and achieve the desired milestones.
Today, both multi-national companies and start-ups realize the value of sustainability in the professional world. Sustainability is not just about minimizing the harm, but it majorly deals with doing better for your business, employees, and the world. Business leaders are moving towards the practice of promoting sustainable production with concurrent efforts. They inspire their workforce and steer the organization and aspiring professionals to move forward and conquer the possibilities in diverse spheres. I truly believe that leaders don’t create followers; instead, they make more leaders. Addressing sustainability issues is challenging for most leaders and requires a whole systems approach at multiple levels and scales.
A Company that collaborates with Forbes, PwC, SAP, Xerox, and others, for their branding and thought leadership recently surveyed Engaged Executive Leadership. The survey revealed that “91% of the global consumers want to hear about Corporate Social Responsibility efforts.” The survey also revealed that “77% of buyers said they are more likely to buy from a company if the CEO uses social media.” The survey results are testimony to the fact that leaders need to amend their thought leadership and opt for practices for sustainable leadership.
Let us go deeper into how the CEOs can build Sustainable Leadership to thrive in their business growth and shaping a profitable future for their organization while paying close attention to their resources and the environment.
How to Build Sustainable Leadership?
1. The Triple Bottom Line
The TBL or Triple Bottom Line is a well-known framework that incorporates the three P’s crucial for corporate sustainability. The 3 P’s of the TBL are “People, Planet and Profit.” The top leadership must recognize, strategize, and adopt a responsible approach while leading the company from the front. Some critical aspects include working in synergy with the stakeholders and considering gender inequality, inclusiveness, and employees’ emotional intelligence. First, it is vital to explore and understand how our roles individually can tackle the corporate challenges by looking beyond our roles, organization, and domains. Sustainable Development deals with meeting the demands of the present without compromising on the needs of future generations.
2. Emphasizing on Corporate Social Responsibility
CSR, i.e., Corporate Social Responsibility, is closely related to sustainable business practices. It refers to a company’s concern and approach to treating the environment well. Sustainability revolves around the impact that the organization exerts on its surroundings, environmental, social, and business terms. Eventually, conscious management can lead to better external relations and managing risks in a better way, with lowered costs. Corporate leaders create value re-invested for further economic development and constructively impact society.
3. Focus on Interpersonal Skills & Leadership
On my journey to become the CEO, I learned that leadership is not a person or a position. It is a series of events following best practices, which drive to collaborate with teams and strive towards the concurrent mission. Being volatile and sharing ambiguous contexts can hamper your targets and affect the thought process of your employees. The core principles to steer an organization towards success work on your interpersonal skills to drive continuous learning and collaboration with proficient minds and reach beyond the set goals. Having rich conversations with diverse minds working on hitting a common goal leads to strategic decision-making. A leader’s communication and negotiation skills play a vital role in facilitating employee participation and engagement.
4. Open to Change and Align Dynamically
It is crucial to understand your employee’s and stakeholders’ cultural diversity, promoting involvement with social matters. Welcoming change and the commitment to mold according to the dynamics is the secret mantra to transform risks into opportunities. Understanding and working on short-term and long-term goals attributes to sustainable leadership. Being creative and innovative translates your intentions into emerging opportunities, and stay ahead of your competitors.
In the coming years, sustainable leadership will play an essential role in guaranteeing success and meet audacious new goals. Some organizations showcased remarkable growth during unprecedented times and celebrated our corporate targets by exploring innovative strategies to drive revenue growth and value for their employees. Sustainable leaders play the long game while standing firm and steady for a more prospective future of reconciliation, repair, and recovery. Pioneers need to revisit, revise, and evolve as global tech leaders and consistently measure their processes’ impact. Working at different levels with a sustainable mindset and the vision to see beyond the immediate challenges helps play a prominent role as an individual and strive to demonstrate the accomplishments in a broader canvas.