Sustainability is a key goal of Leadership Zen, and the third of the Three Ideals that we aspire to. Our definition of sustainability isn’t too different than what you have likely seen before, but it might be a little more comprehensive because like all things around here, we look at it both on a personal and a societal level.
We’ve adapted our sustainability model from thwink.org (not all the best ideas come from in-house!) which defines sustainability as the ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely. From a personal standpoint it means practicing the Six Commitments, making them habits, and therefore changing your behavior for the long haul. That’s how we live productive, fulfilling lives, and it is how we cause change in others.
From a more global level, there is both the idea of inspiring others to cause change, but also recognizing this little rock we live on and the people and cities within it, need a little bit of help if we’re going to live on it much longer. Although there are detractors, many scientists believe that we are on the verge of the sixth mass extinction in our Earth’s history – periods where species elimination rises to a rate that exceeds the “norm”. The difference is, while previous mass extinction events were caused by outside phenomena, such as asteroids colliding with the plant, this one is being caused by us. That means it can be stopped by us and it is a leading cause of Leadership Zen and the #CauseChange Foundation.
Sustainability isn’t just a random idea, nor is it one that should be taken in isolation. On a personal level it means ensuring the right behaviors, but also the right balance between the Three Essences – the professional self, the social self, and YOURself. Only by maintaining equilibrium between them can you provide the right ecosystem for your new habits – and you – to thrive.
The same is true globally. Again, thwink.org says it as well as I can, but we have to nurture a complete ecosystem at a societal level to maintain the right conditions for global sustsainability. These are:
- Environmental sustainability is the ability to maintain rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely.
- Economic sustainability is the ability to support a defined level of economic production indefinitely.
- Social sustainability is the ability of a social system, such as a country, to function at a defined level of social well being indefinitely.
These so-called Pillars of Sustainability are similar to our Three Essences, and are critical not only for understand what to do, but also how to do it. Thus the global mission of Leadership Zen.
We’ll have a lot more on these concepts not only here, but also on the #CauseChange Foundation website. It is the cornerstone of both our personal, and our social activism.