Using the lever of leadership to drive environmental change

Using the lever of leadership to drive environmental change

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Conference Paper

Taylor, A. (2010). Using the lever of leadership to drive environmental change: Ten tips for practitioners. Proceedings of the Enviro 2010 Conference, 21 – 23 July 2010, Melbourne, Victoria.

ABSTRACT

This paper provides guidance to environmental practitioners on how to more efficiently drive processes of change to deliver sustainable outcomes. It introduces the concept of leadership, describes several important forms of environmental leadership, and presents evidence that leadership is a critical factor in driving environmental change. It then draws on recent research involving emergent environmental leaders („champions‟) to highlight ten tips that sustainability practitioners could use to build valuable aspects of leadership capacity. These tips represent tools that sustainability practitioners could use to become more effective at exerting influence, particularly across managerial levels and organisational boundaries. The paper also uses a white-water rafting metaphor to help explain the challenging context typically faced by sustainability practitioners, the relevance of leadership to this context, and the importance of building specific leadership skills to successfully exercise influence in complex, uncertain and unstable environments.

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