Sustainability Leaders Transformation Toolkit

We equip sustainability leaders with the tools and skills they need to accelerate change.

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The Archetypes

The Translator

A sustainability leader who works across different types of boundaries to bring stakeholders together, translate concepts, build trust, build shared visions for sustainability initiatives, align people’s activities and build personal commitment to collective success. They typically lead with little authority (position power) and primarily engage in boundary-spanning leadership.

The Diplomat

A sustainability leader who is able to exert influence through their relationships with leaders in positions of authority (e.g. executives and politicians). They are seen as independent, trusted advisors who the leaders in authority can turn to for counsel on technical or policy matters.

The Guru

A sustainability leader who is able to exert influence due to high levels of knowledge, expertise and credibility. They may be specialists in a narrow field (e.g. life-cycle assessment), or be seen as being experts in a broader field of knowledge (e.g. sustainability). They primarily engage in thought leadership to promote more sustainable practices.

The Director

A sustainability leader with high levels of position power (authority) which enables them to exert significant influence (e.g. to formally approve new sustainability initiatives). They typically have access to human and financial resources, and have the ability to shape organisational culture, strategy and processes to enable sustainability initiatives.

The Activist

A sustainability leader who excels at initiating change (e.g. promoting a new idea or policy). They are comfortable taking risks, challenging the status quo and articulating new approaches. They are highly motivated catalysts of change and are helpful at breaking through institutional inertia. They primarily engage in champion-driven leadership to initiate sustainability projects.

The Coach

A sustainability leader who exerts influence by coaching others. They enable other people in their networks to find solutions to sustainability problems. They do this by asking powerful questions, helping colleagues to find their own solutions, sharing guidance and resources, and/or facilitating structured learning activities to build confidence, knowledge and skill.

The Guide

A sustainability leader who focuses on creating safe spaces for stakeholders to come together to collectively build an understanding of a complex problem, identify possible solutions, and then experiment with solutions until one or more are found that can be scaled up. They primarily engage in adaptive leadership to address complex (AKA wicked or adaptive) problems.

The Motivator

A sustainability leader who plays the role of either the assigned or emergent team leader to help a group of people to deliver sustainability projects / work. They may lead teams of staff /employees and/or project teams. They primarily engage in team leadership to promote more sustainable practices.

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