Developing the leadership capacity to enable organisations to make the shift to sustainable business models involves not just helping leaders develop new skills and knowledge but, more importantly, helping them develop the mindsets and perspectives necessary. At Jericho Partners we have been using a similar quadrant model to Stuart Hart's in his book Capitalism at the Crossroads: Aligning Business, Earth and Humanity in our work with leaders. It identifies four territories of leadership:
- Insight: seeing clearly what the world is calling for, developing new clarity and understanding about the leadership challenges you face and the impact you have, and could have, as a leader.
- Readiness: understanding the personal and cultural factors that hold you to old ways of behaving and keep you from achieving your potential, and then developing the necessary personal freedom and flexibility.
- Vision: from this place of greater Readiness and with a clear Insight into what is demanded, envisioning a vibrant and realistic picture of the leader you choose to be for the future.
- Action: transforming that authentic Vision into the specific actions needed to bring about that vision in the world and so being yourself with skill.
An important part of the journey to the kind of leadership we need is the journey to a wider, deeper perspective, to a worldview that encompasses not just me or my organisation but encompasses all of us. Nelson Mandela ends his extraordinary book A Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela with an eloquent description of his own journey to a global consciousness:
"At first, as a student, I wanted freedom only for myself, the transitory freedoms of being able to stay out at night, read what I pleased and go where I chose. Later, as a young man in Johannesburg, I yearned for the basic and honourable freedoms of achieving my potential, of earning my keep, of marrying and having a family - the freedom not to be obstructed in a lawful life.
But then I slowly saw that not only was I not free, but my brothers and sisters were not free [...] and that is when the hunger for my own freedom became the greater hunger for the freedom of my people. It was this desire for the freedom of my people to live their lives with dignity and self-respect that animated my life, that transformed a frightened young man into a bold one, that drove a law-abiding attorney to become a criminal, that turned a family-loving husband into a man without a home, that forced a life-loving man to live like a monk. [...] It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. [...]
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended."