Everyone wants a cleaner environment and recognizes human behavior is trashing it. We can’t stop ourselves because of the systems we created that make it convenient, comfortable, fun, and in nearly every way emotionally rewarding to pollute except that it’s against our values of leaving the world better than we found it. Only you know your values and what better means to you, but I’ve never met anyone who didn’t consider cleaner air and water better.
We don’t want to pollute, yet our systems make us. So few people act to reduce their pollution, forcing us to rationalize why it’s okay for each of us to do things we know hurt others. Things we want laws for organizations like governments and large corporations—such as to
- Reduce their emissions of CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gases
- Be held accountable for externalities
- Pollute less
we don’t do ourselves!
Leaders create new systems.
People feel alone in acting first. We think things like:
If I don’t eat this steak (or fly in this airplane, drive this car, buy this disposable item, or other polluting activity) I don’t get to do something I like, but if billions of others don’t, my sacrifice won’t make a difference. I might as well keep doing it.
We feel ineffectual to change, yet we recognize that our behavior is the cause of the problem!
Leaders make people feel part of a community.
Leadership make people effective and make them feel effective.
Leaders give people meaning, value, importance, purpose, and passion.
Nobody is leading in the area of the environment. Many are doing things like educating, researching, publishing, innovating, and legislating. I support all these activities, but they aren’t leading. And since the cause of global warming and pollution is human behavior, the solution has to involve changing human behavior—so people want to change their behavior, even when it’s hard.
Until people start changing their behavior, all the other efforts will face resistance, as we all see daily in our increasingly polluted skies, oceans, waters, diets, education, and, sadly, our thinking processes.
Changing people’s interests means changing their beliefs, mental models, emotional associations, values, and experiences.
Almost nobody is doing this—leading, not just educating, spreading facts, legislating, innovating, researching, publishing, etc.
How do I know? I just searched “leadership and the environment”.
My post from last week came up 3rd in DuckDuckGo (which I think doesn’t use your identity to track):
and 3rd in Google (which I searched through DuckDuckGo to try to keep it from tracking that I was searching):
I’m curious if others get different results. Searching on leadership and global warming and climate change got similar results showing a lack of effective leadership.
Conclusion: Time to start a podcast!
If it’s important and no one is doing it, I’m going to do it.
This morning I woke up to thoughts about starting this podcast. The search results confirmed my expectations, which motivated me to act.
Having appeared on about 50 podcasts so far and having interacted with Nobel Laureates and the occasional celebrity and leader, I think I have access to important voices.
- You’re not alone: to make people feel part of a community
- Your actions will make a difference: to make people feel effective, to help motivate them to act
- Your actions have meaning, value, importance, and purpose: to give people direction, meaning, and purpose, so they care
- Important people: to interview people who influence others
- Commitment: to get guests to commit to reduce their pollution
- Accountability: to get guests to allow their results to show publicly
- Long-term change: to get guests to commit to a second interview to describe their experience with the change they committed to
- Community: to enable listeners to match guests’ commitment
- Growth: to get guests to put me in touch with people more influential than they are
- I have no budget or experience
- I don’t have a lot of time for it either.
I’m going to start anyway. Since I don’t plan to make money from the podcast, I think I can get people to commit to helping make with the design and set up. If you’re reading this and have skills with podcast and web design, please let me know.
Format and structure
The format and structure I envision so far are:
- It’s about people and their beliefs, emotions, behaviors, passions, and stories
- It’s about finding joy and emotional reward in changing your behavior to pollute less
- It’s about leading people to change their behavior that way for their own reasons
- I’ll try to get as influential guests as I can
- I’ll start with guests
- Sharing their thoughts about leadership
- Sharing their thoughts about the environment and climate change
- I’ll have each guest commit to some change to pollute less
- Which the page will track so the public can see their commitment
- That they’ll commit to another interview about a few months later to report on their experience
- I expect that people hearing how others liked the change will follow
- I’ll have each guest commit to putting me in touch with someone more influential than him- or herself
- It’s part of a movement. Beyond the podcast, I intend to
- Speak publicly
- Organize events
- Support people educating, researching, legislating, etc
Can you help?
If so, please contact me!
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book