• Nuno Moreira da Cruz

Sustainable Leadership


Experience has taught me that the key leadership practices are around values, vision, innovation, trust and leading from the heart. Declaring your values commits you to live by them, vision aligns a team and a purpose, innovation can be expressed as "your license to operate" in the future, trust is what engages people around you, leading from the heart is essentially understanding that we lead the "whole human being".

If you look at those practices through a Sustainability lens, they gain an entire new light, and one will be saying: "Values? More than ever!" "Vision? more than ever!" and so on. I fully agree with Cambridge Professor Theo Hacking (recent paper from the University) on "motivation to prioritise Sustainability" being the trigger. As it was with Safety (coming from the Oil industry I have witnessed it from "within"), the first leaders to give a step forward were those that were truly concerned with the harm caused to so many colleagues and families. They prioritise Safety, create standards and followers happen.

Prioritising Sustainability is taking some more time for the simple fact that this is about the planet as a whole, not about my neighbour. Which leads to the key question for business leaders: is there a clear Business Case for action? Those who saw it already (the likes of Paul Polman - Unilever, and Larry Fink - Blackrock) are pushing hard because sustainability became their priority - "either I have a sustainable business or I will not have a business at all".