Top Sustainability Leadership Principles
I’ve meant to collect the top principles in sustainability leadership, the things I say nearly daily and govern embracing living sustainably.
“Nothing is more damaging to you than to do something you believe is wrong.” — Abraham Lincoln
Systemic change begins with personal change.
You tell me what you fear losing most and I’ll tell you exactly what you’ll get more of.
You can’t lead someone else to live by values you live the opposite of.
Without personal action, you don’t know what you’re talking about and lack credibility.
Not a principle, but a behavior I see a lot of: stepping on the gas, thinking it’s the brake, wanting congratulations.
Your greatest potential effect is in leading others.
CCCSC (convincing, cajoling, coercing, seeking compliance) may get compliance but reinforces the beliefs driving the system you want to change.
Humans thrived for 300,000 years without polluting. In that time developing anesthesia, vaccines, antibiotics, democracy, arts, culture, sports, and more. We don’t have to give any of them up.
Constraints breed creativity.
Never call doof food.
If you make a polluting system more efficient, you may reduce pollution locally, but you pollute more efficiently.
We’ve been chasing efficiency for centuries. The problems isn’t efficiency but total pollution. Our technology and economic systems are more efficient than ever and producing more pollution than ever.
Technology, legislation, and religion augment the values of the people wielding them. They don’t have value of their own.
Home cooked tastes better even when it tastes worse.
If you aren’t going to die, analysis and planning generally only delay action.
“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” — Teddy Roosevelt quoting Squire Bill Widener
“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” — Harriet Tubman
You can’t stop the global heroin trade if you’re worried about your own supply.
What they used to call “organic tomatoes” or “heirloom tomatoes”: “tomatoes.”
All food markets used to be farmers markets.
The most effective start is a mindset shift, then continual improvement, which the Spodek Method achieves. Trying to start without the mindset shift generally provokes resistance.
Polluting is like smoking where you get the pleasure and someone else gets cancer.
I’m sure I’ll think of more. I’ll add them as I think of them.
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