Getting above the line to effective leadership

26 Jul 2018
Robert Perry, Sustainable Leadership Manager

SBC’s 2018 Sustainability Leadership programme kicked off with an insightful, challenging and truly inspiring session in Auckland earlier this month. Thirty senior business leaders from 22 member companies, as well as SBC itself, convened for two days of intensive workshops focused on the art and practice of adaptive leadership.

Over the next six months, our “transformers”  from retail to media, finance to agriculture, and global corporations to NFPs will be working to apply new skills, ideas and ways of thinking to live projects and sustainability challenges in their organisations and wider value chains.

SBC’s new professional development programme is a collaboration with Catapult.  We want to strengthen leadership capability for a changing business context, to drive change through effective collaboration, and to embed sustainability into the DNA of business.

We heard from some of NZ’s finest leaders about their corporate citizenship at an evening event. Sir Stephen Tindall (Founder, The Warehouse Group), Karen Fifield (CEO, Wellington Zoo) and Tony Gibson (CEO, Ports of Auckland) shared stories of their own personal leadership journeys, and talked openly about the challenges in transitioning to a new future of work and decarbonisation.

Being bold, alignment - especially in the face of adversity, simple strategy and clear communication came through as some of the basic tenets of business transformation.  It was an engaging and thought-provoking evening showing how businesses can provide a strategic compass for future growth, better business and a better future.

During the two days, the group explored different tools to diagnose sustainability challenges, examined the differences between leadership vs authority and the skills needed for adaptive vs technical challenges.  Sometimes we need to be ‘spectators in the balcony’ as well as ‘players on the field’; and we have the opportunity to be a leader in every action that we take.  We learned more skills and actions for to build our own resilience.

One simple leadership tool discussed was ‘above the line’ thinking  - when we are open, curious, and committed to learning and creativity.  Our challenge is: we are hardwired to operate ‘below the line’ which can limit your leadership. Check out this video (3mins) to see where you are right now… It’s about location, location, location!!!!

Robert Perry, Sustainable Leadership Manager

Apply now for the 2019 Sustainability Leadership Programme.