BLOG: Critical times call for leadership…
It is frequently said that “visionary leaders are like the skippers of ocean-going liners who navigate using points on the horizon. They don’t worry too much about the size of the waves hitting the side of the vessel.”
If the truth be told, it’s hard not to worry about the size of the waves hitting UK businesses these days. In the space of just one month, we have seen a myriad of deeply disturbing headlines including:
- Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’ (referring to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s call to keep global warming at 1.5C not 2C)
- Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970 (referring to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018)
- There are 14,000,000 people in poverty in the UK because of austerity, UN says (referring to the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights report that concluded that by 2022 child poverty rates might be as high as 40%)
- Big business admits Brexit agreement is not a ‘good deal’ (referring to Theresa May’s Brexit agreement)
Successful leaders in this unpredictable and volatile new order must have an exceptionally strong vision of how they want to shape the future of the world, and then implement the necessary steps to create it. They must stretch their attention from the short or medium term of 3 to 5 year business plans, and start focusing on the destination 10 or 20 years from now.
Most of us have been told that “If you focus on results you will never change, but if you focus on change you will get results!” Yet it remains notoriously challenging to practise this given the sheer scale and speed of change that we’re encountering daily. Never has it been more critical for us to act and reflect on our own role as leaders, and to actively pursue opportunities for cross-sector innovation and collaboration.
These are just some of the insights that UKGBC aims to engender through its continued focus on leadership. We have set ourselves an ambition to make sustainability central to leadership within our member organisations, and to cultivate purpose-led leadership amongst both current and future leaders. And our flagship Change Accelerator programme, aims to do just that! This high impact programme takes 15 or so of the built environment’s most experienced leaders through a process of transformational change at both the individual and business level. Applications for the next programme are still open with deadlines looming fast.
What better time than a new calendar year to redefine your leadership purpose, reinforce your peer to peer networks, and understand how to influence system change? Apply now or nominate your high performing high potential leaders to gain new inspiration and stimulus at a time when they’re most likely to need it. For more information on this or any of UKGBC’s leadership programmes contact us.
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