Jennifer Explores Seven Questions to Focus Sustainability Leadership

Jennifer Woofter, President of SSC, recently wrote an article for Environmental Leader.  Environmental Leader is the leading daily trade publication keeping corporate executives fully informed about energy, environmental and sustainability news. Jennifer's article, posted on August 21st, discusses seven questions to focus sustainability leadership.

Here's what Jennifer had to say:

Sustainability leadership is a challenging issue I've seen crop up in a variety of situations recently, including:

  • Lower-level employees on a volunteer green team, trying to steer their companies down a greener path
  • Newly appointed Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) charged with the momentous task of integrating sustainability into the C-Suite
  • Sustainability consultants that have buy-in from the client's leadership, but are struggling to push it down into individual departments

In many cases, the people involved are facing a leadership crisis. And as a result they aren't clear about their role, able to generate momentum, or equipped to get others on board. Sometimes they are spinning their wheels, other times they are bulldozing their colleagues. They might be all talk and no action, or “all action” without an overarching story to tie everything together into a larger mission.  The list of symptoms can be endless and exhausting.

I was delighted, therefore, to come across, “7 Practical Questions That Will Multiply Your Influence.”  David Dye, founder and President of Trailblaze, Inc. argues that the stuff of leadership, "has nothing to do with the title that comes after your name or power to force people to act. It has everything to do with what is in your heart."

Touchy-feely sentiment aside, his seven questions resonated with me from the perspective of the sustainability leadership crisis. I've listed them below, along with my thoughts on each question's pertinence to sustainability leadership. I hope that it helps to spark something in all the current and future sustainability leaders out there!

The article dives into several thought-provoking questions and suggestions for sustainability leaders, including:

  1. What do you really want?
  2. Do you know (and are you working out of) your values and personal mission?
  3. Are you choosing problems or trying to avoid problems?
  4. Do you really want things to get better?
  5. Are you working for your team or yourself?
  6. What can I do to bring about the results I want to see?
  7. Are my people better off as a result of their time with me?

To read the full article, click here.