Paul Polman, author of Net Positive*, emphasises the need for leaders who challenge the status quo and understand that business profit should stem from solving the world’s problems rather than creating them.
This is the next frontier of leadership – leading for the greater good.
Greater Good Leadership is about driving positive impact through purposeful actions and decisions. It involves leading with human values such as justice, courage, compassion, and respect. Our decisions and actions hold immense power, influencing the well-being of individuals and the environment around us. Our ultimate goal should be to create sustainable, long-term value and make a positive impact on the world.
So, what does this mean for leaders? Let’s explore the six essential areas that are vital to the journey of Greater Good Leadership:
1. Self-Awareness – Know Yourself to Lead Others
The research is clear – self-awareness is the foundation of effective leadership. It is the ability to understand your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and how they impact others.
For me, self-awareness has meant being honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses, and actively working and reflecting on what service I can be to my community and world. It’s also being able to tap into what brings me true meaning, and the place I can play in the larger ecosystem of life!
2. Purpose – Creating a Clear and Compelling Purpose beyond Self
It’s about creating a clear and compelling purpose that inspires and energises you. So many people feel lost, overwhelmed or stressed because they are so far disconnected with a meaningful purpose. Remember, your purpose is not out there to be found, it’s weaving the story of who you are into a compelling long term aspiration.
When you can connect your purpose with your everyday life, it drives a sense of authenticity and peace. Understanding your purpose also makes it easier to know what success looks like and gives you a compass for decision making and goals.
3. Empathy – Understanding and Caring for Others
Understanding how our inner world – our thoughts and emotions – drive and impact our outer world is critical for leaders. When we can recognise this in ourselves, it helps us to be able to recognise this in others. This empathy creates a sense of belonging and community, and is the foundation to building strong relationships based on trust, care and respect.
Leaders who are empathetic are able to recognise the diverse needs and perspectives of others, and to develop outcomes that are inclusive and equitable to all.
4. Courage – Taking Risks and Standing Up for What’s Right
Greater Good Leadership is the willingness to take risks and to stand up for what’s right, even when it’s not easy. For me, courage has meant speaking up when I see injustice, and taking risks to pursue goals that align with my values and purpose.
Don’t get me wrong, you definitely don’t get this right every time. Sometimes you wish you had spoken up in the moment or you, yourself hasn’t said the right thing. Please be kind to yourself, each time, we learn and you can always go back and admit to your mistakes.
Courage has also means being vulnerable and authentic as a leader. It’s not always easy to show your true self, but it’s essential for building trust and connection with others. When we’re willing to be vulnerable, we create space for others to do the same, and we can build deeper and more meaningful relationships.
5. Connection – Building Relationships Based on Trust and Respect
Are you a community builder? We need leaders who actively think and create belonging and community. For me, building community takes listening deeply to others, and seeking to understand their needs, perspectives, and experiences of others. People want to be seen, heard and appreciated. So it’s creating rhythms to do this every single day.
Connection also means collaborating and co-creating with others. Everything is a team effort! When we work together, we can achieve more than any one individual could achieve alone. Collaboration takes time, it takes building trust and it takes courageous conversations…but if you can do this, you build a collective leadership that’s a critical part of creating positive social impact.
6. Influence – Using Your Platform for Good
Once you have the previous five habits in place, you realise the opportunity to positively influence the world around you. You have a platform, and the ability to shape the opinions, beliefs, and behaviours of others.
It’s time to create a shared vision of the future, and to rally others around that vision. You can achieve goals that are greater than any one individual could achieve alone. For me, it’s seeing influence and building your authority as a way of serving the world with your strengths and talents. Do great work and share it!
Becoming a Greater Good Leader
This journey is never done! It’s always about continuously improving and growing, and developing the skills and knowledge we need to create a positive impact. It’s a journey that requires self-awareness, purpose, empathy, courage, connection, and always striving to do good.
How do you practise these in your life and career? With dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to learn and grow, you can become a leader who drives positive change in the world. The world needs leaders like this!
Registrations for the Greater Good Collective are now open!
I’m so excited to let you know we have just opened registrations for the Greater Good Collective kicking off in February 2024.
The Greater Good Collective is a transformational 3-month personal leadership program to boost your self awareness, emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills in an energising learning environment.
The exciting part is that for this special round, I will also facilitate 7 live online sessions for all participants too! That’s means more interaction, community connection and more motivation to make the most of this program 🙂
The program is for you if…
- You are looking for time and space to define or redefine who you are
- You want to connect to your purpose, use your strengths and clarify your values
- You are over the self doubt and want to live confidently
- You want to connect with others who want to stretch themselves for the better.
Check out the program brochure to share with your manager! Or reach out to me to see if this program is the right fit for you.
*Disclosure: We love to promote great resources to support your personal leadership development. This post contains affiliate links which means if you decide to use the links and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!