“It is about taking their best people and providing the environment and opportunity to learn whatever is needed to assure those people will become the best leaders they can become.”
Few would argue that a successful business or organization depends on leadership. The leader steers the team. It all depends on the leader.
Or does it? You hear the term sustainable leadership around more and more. I am familiar with sustainable living concepts, but sustainable leadership? I investigate.
In a thoughtful analysis of sustainable leadership in About Leaders, guest contributor Tim Cummuta writes about how this works and why it matters citing examples of GE and Apple. Cummuta states, “It is about taking their best people and providing the environment and opportunity to learn whatever is needed to assure those people will become the best leaders they can become.”
The idea is to be less focused on finding the right leader time and again, but rather deciding: we build our leaders at every level from within first. We mentor employees for leadership. We value experience from within the company. We acknowledge that leaders leave and we have a plan for that. Sustainable leadership is a long view plan that makes sense.
You’re right. Apple and GE are huge players; does sustainable leadership planning work for small business or small non-profit? It looks different certainly, but consider: when a leader leaves a small entity the effects are felt even more. However, if their strategic planning honestly looked at that eventuality and adopted sustainable leadership as a core value, their team is up to speed and ready for an interim plan. Their next leader may also already be on the team.
Comments? What do you think it looks like for an employee to engage in a sustainable leadership culture?