Being a Green Leader: Grass Stain or Green Suit

Green Suit

We have been bombarded with “green” this and “green” that. So what exactly does “green” mean?

Is it just a grass stain or is it a green suit?

What I am asking is this:  Are these “green” practices temporary or are they lasting? Are these practices which will be washed out by the next intervention like a grass stain, or are these practices something that’s classic and sustainable like a classic suit?

This question of things “green” also applies to the current practices of leadership.  Ask yourself, “Do I want to be a grass stain leader or a suit leader?…Do I want to have a lasting legacy, or will I be washed as a forgotten grassy memory on a hot summers day?”

It’s Not Easy Being Green

It's Not Easy Being Green “Green” business and environmentally friendly practices cannot be achieved without the knowledge, support, behaviors, and other attributes of a suit leader.  In order for you to be a suit leader, you need to be pragmatic, which is how your leadership meets the practical needs and concerns of organizational development by being readily accessible and flexible.

Suit leadership enables and supports career progression within your changing environment and enhances your ability to manage the context and need for relevant development as a leader and as an organization.  Suit leaders are viewed as an asset in times of change, because they have a vision which guides organizations to and through the change in order to survive and grow.

As a suit leader, you should relate to your subordinates’ change commitment when the change will be impacting your followers significantly.

In other words, the followers have a stronger commitment when the leader displays suit behaviors instead of specific techniques and styles.   As a suit leader, you are able to recognize the experience of change and the dissonance it creates.  Through the dissonance, new thinking becomes more evident as well as new discoveries and innovative ideas which positively impacts the health of the organization, external community, and other larger systems.

Wearing Many Hats

Suit leaders tend to wear many hats.  There’s the top hat (or economic industry), the fedora (or environmental industry), and the ball cap (social aspects) just to mention a few.

  • The top hat for the suit leader is the hat which means the leader has to be able to generate theGreen Hat revenue to meet the current expenses as well as provide enough profit for future needs.A suit leaders needs to be taught and trained in the actions needed to create an ecologically sustainable organization with integrated knowledge of the current fractures of the economy, society, and other businesses.
  • The fedora means the suit leader finds ways for the organization to consume resources more responsibly and helps renew other currently used resources.
  • The ball cap of your suit leadership means you lead the organization to care more about the community through operations and engagement as well as report the organization’s behaviors and respect ethical guidelines on human resources.

Long Term Leadership

Sustainable LeadershipLeadership sustainability is affected by both the psychological and physiological stress of power with performance in the leadership role.  A suit leader leads with rather than leads over others. This impacts the long-term viability and interconnected systems of the organization.

A sustainable leader has many hats which they must successfully juggle.

As a suit leader, you must always be two steps ahead of the game. This may mean getting a few short-term grass stains on you, but withstanding them with the long-term durability of the suit.  Without a leader who can sustain an organization through his or her behaviors and actions, most businesses would not be in existence.

Change is hard, but change must occur if you seek to grow more as an individual as well as see the growth of the organization and the greater good.  Change can be seen as a necessary evil, and a suit leader can help alleviate the grass stains associated with it.

Do you want to be a grass stain or a classic suit?

Bookmark Being a Green Leader: Grass Stain or Green Suit

Greggory Wright is Quality Improvement Coordinator at Scott and White Health Plan
He is a Ph.D candidate in Industrial Organizational Psychology

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