290: On Excessive Self Interest, from Thomas Kolditz

2020-02-13

I ask people their reasons for polluting activities like flying, take-out, taking taxis or ride shares where public transit serves. They consistently tell me that they love these things. They love visiting family, seeing remote places, etc. If you feel similarly, you're about to face some tough love. These motivations came to mind while listening to Thomas Kolditz on a podcast I listen to and that has featured me. He is one of today's premier leaders and leadership educators. A few words about him: Tom Kolditz is the founding Director of the Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University–the most comprehensive, evidence-based, university-wide leader development program in the world. The Doerr Institute was recognized in 2019 as the top university leader development program by the Association of Leadership Educators. Prior to Rice, he taught as a Professor in the Practice of Leadership and Management and Director of the Leadership Development Program at the Yale School of Management. A retired Brigadier General, Tom led the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point for 12 years. I heard him on The Leadership Podcast, hosted by Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos (who interviewed my in 2017 “What An Ivy League Degree Can’t Teach You.”). I recommend only listening if you're prepared for some straight, sobering talk on what those motivations mean. I also include a quote from that conversation about our sorry state of leadership education, which I relate to our sorrier state of environmental action education.

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