Sustainable Leadership

Many organisations know how to make a profit, but there is more to running a business than simply making the cash tills ring.  Those at the top of a business need to recognise this, and ensure that a healthy organisation is one that builds on the principles of thinking long-term, effective leadership and communication, and nurturing relationships.

It’s easy to think about what needs to be done now to clinch a deal or grab that next lucrative contract, and many workers have the skills to negotiate this, but effective and sustainable leadership is much more than that.  So, where does an organisation start?

Knowledge and awareness

Sustainable leadership can only be achieved if the leader is aware that they need to think in a long-term way.  They need to know who the organisation is, what its goals are, where it’s heading and how they want to achieve success.  It’s a complex process and involves engaging with managers and other members of staff to gain insight and input into how things are being run.  Having the skills to manage and monitor this alone is crucial, and often requires external assistance.

Developing skills

Many managers need to develop and hone their skills to become effective leaders.  They need to keep abreast of the latest ways of thinking to maintain market competitiveness. Leadership development training is critical to sustainable success and can give leaders the opportunity to inspire others to go that extra mile in their work and to connect strategy to performance.  It can help develop skills to allow leaders to connect people to their organisations, see how they fit in, modify change in behaviour and create shared commitment to achieve specific goals.  Leadership development enables leaders to communicate to all members of staff the wider picture of how the organisation operates, aside from the day-to-day operations and how what they do contributes to the organisation as a whole.  Thinking long term about the business also helps to foster good internal and external relations, retaining both staff and customers.

Action plans and setting goals

Sustainable leadership can only thrive if a leader outlines plans and goals for the organisation, rather than just letting things happen.  Recognising what these plans and goals are takes time and commitment, and is often achieved with the help of executive coaching, where professional assistance can be given to help glean out exactly what these plans and goals might be, and where the company is heading.  Often, the use of executive coaching not only improves leadership development skills but also unlocks potential and ideas that may have not come to fore without outside input.  Sometimes leaders are so wrapped up in the here and now, that they can’t necessarily see the finer detail and how all these pieces of details fit together like a jigsaw.

Sustainable leadership requires expertise to communicate long-term thinking to all members of staff, dispelling the notion that business success is only about the profit share.  Long-term market growth and maintaining competitiveness are all vital ingredients for a sustainable, successful business.

About the Author: This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Performance1 experts in leadership development and executive coaching. Please follow this link to find out more about executive coaching and leadership development.