Trying to lead on sustainability with trying to live sustainably is like trying to play piano without practicing

September 28, 2022 by Joshua
in Art, Leadership, Nature

For context, I’m talking about myself before my sustainability experiments as much as anyone.

I’ve concluded that someone trying to lead people to live sustainably when they haven’t seriously tried themselves doesn’t know the joys, physical challenges, (more importantly) emotional challenges, social challenges (people create more challenges than you’d expect), hopes, discoveries, and so on. I see them like someone reading a book on music theory trying to teach piano, or even hasn’t heard music played.

I’ve said before and will say again, only by practicing could I find that acting more sustainability brought joy, fun, freedom, and more rewarding results more than I ever would have expected.

In this regard, sustainability is like most other practices. You have to practice to develop skills, experience, awareness, strategy, and what you need to be effective. It’s also explains the counterproductivity of measuring someone’s actions by the difference they make from the act alone.


Someone’s attitude matters more than the physically measurable effects of their first actions. Do you care which musician sounded best when they first started or who practiced deliberately more when you go to a concert?

Leading others

People don’t only listen to a leader’s words. They pay attention to his or her behavior, which they’ll follow more. If the would-be leader’s actions belie what he or she says, people will find that person no credible and stop listening. Can you think of a leader in sustainability you associate with credibility, authenticity, integrity, or trustworthiness? I don’t think of many. It comes from how you act, not just talk.

Read my weekly newsletter

On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter