Published in the Leader to Leader Journal: “We Who Choose to Lead Are Humanity’s Best Hope to Save Civilization”

September 21, 2022 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nature

My second article in the prestigious Leader to Leader Journal just appeared. It’s peer-reviewed and edited, so if you’re used to reading me hear, it should be a step up in quality. The article is We Who Choose to Lead Are Humanity’s Best Hope to Save Civilization.

Sustainability lacks leadership. It has plenty of people sharing information, numbers, and instructions, or what I call CCCSC, short for coercing, cajoling, convincing, and seeking compliance. Those techniques are nearly the opposite of leadership, in my opinion.

My goal is to engage people who call ourselves leaders, to start leading. In person I tend to speak more bluntly about it, because I know how much potential we have to bring joy and overcome all the resignation, capitulation, and abdication overtaking our culture, but the editors kept me to making it effective and useful for readers, and blunt isn’t always the most effective way.

Check it out. If you like it, share it. Here’s the link to share it with:

It begins:

You’ve heard about the environment:

The question is not if we can solve the problems but if we will.

Have you or anyone you know had thoughts like these?

“What difference could I make? What one person does doesn’t matter.”

“Only government and corporations can make a difference on the scale we need.”

“The plane was going to fly anyway.”

“It’s disposable, but I recycle.”

“Sustainability is a luxury for those privileged not to worry about their next meal.”

“I have to fly for my job and family.”

“Smarter people than me will solve this problem.”

“I care about the environment, but an SUV is safer. I’m not going to risk my child’s life.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t but this one time won’t make a difference.”

Our Problem Is Our Culture

Despite their media attention, plastic, carbon dioxide, and mercury do not cause our environmental problems. They have no volition. They become pollution as a result of our behavior, which results from our stories, images, role models, and what make up our culture and values. Many people feel bewildered at the number of problems: climate change, deforestation, extinctions, pollution, coral bleaching, and more. A leadership perspective clarifies and simplifies that they all result from one cause: human behavior, driven by our culture and values. These problems are the physical manifestation of our values. If we magically reverted all pollution to preindustrial levels but kept our current values, we’d return to this state. Change our culture and values and we have a chance.

Changing culture is what leaders do. By leadership, I don’t mean authority, status, or age. Anyone can lead, including you and I. By leadership, I mean helping people do what they want to but haven’t figured out how. We often call politicians and executives leaders, and many of them do lead outside sustainability, but few lead in sustainability, yet. I see as much potential for people to lead from outside those areas as within.

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