This year, I’m taking a course on Evolutionary Leadership for Sustainability. I believe we cannot continue living in the way we have done it until now, without consequences. Scientist Stephen Hawking believes humans will not survive another 1000 years on planet Earth, and he may know a couple of things about the topic.
According to Alex Lightman, we are getting 88% of our energy from carbon when we have more than 4,000 times as much energy available from the sun. Yes, we have all heard about the financial doom that will happen if we decide to do things in another way, but perhaps we should be a little bit more concerned about burning the planet and all humankind if we don’t change radically. It’s clear to me that the question is not: should we change? but how do we change? Here is where Evolutionary Leadership for Sustainability comes in.
Leaders are a reflection of the society, but in return, they change it by changing the status quo. Nowadays, the relationship between leaders and follower is more fluid than 15 years ago. The access to new technology and the influence of social media has radically changed the way that we interact with each other and has decreased the (almost) blind confidence that followers had in their leaders. The concept of leadership has to evolve, too. It has to integrate Sustainability into the core, to remind us that we actually LIVE here and that we are part of a living system.
The major problems that we’re suffering are systemic: poverty, hunger, violence, ecological disasters, just to name a few. Therefore, we need to act globally if we want to solve them. We also need to see the impact in the long term, understanding that these problems are permanent unless we decide to act. Short-sighted leaders are only concerned about power, their groups (followers) and their local and immediate needs. We need leaders that serve the humankind, concerned about the global issues and that understand the long-term implications of any actions.
Followers that are ready to change the way they perceive, react and act to our reality are quickly becoming leaders. This is the transformation of systems thinking, to systems feeling, to systems being. We all have the potential and more important, the moral obligation to become leaders and create a sustainable paradigm if we want our children to continue living on this planet. The first steps we need to take are:
-Get informed, know your facts. Share them with your friends.
-Demand greener products, greener companies.
-Act greener. Find your ecological footprint and reduce it.
We need to understand that this crisis didn’t happen overnight and it certainly won’t be fixed in the short term, but as Peter Diamandis says: A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.