When you think of sustainable success with stewardship you may immediately think of wildly successful (social) entrepreneurial stories like Tom’s Shoes, or Richard Branson. Or NGOs, nonprofits and governmental organizations such as the United Nations and the US Environmental Protection Agency. I am privileged to include these last 2 on my client list, as well as KCP&L: a utility that invests in developing its people along with practices that support the environment.
How are you and your organization stacking up?
The quadruple bottom line (People, Planet, Profit & Purpose (Future Orientation), the 4 “Pillars of Sustainability”) expands the business concept of the bottom line to include social and environmental as well as financial results with a long term effects approach, achieving sustainable success with stewardship even during our uncertain, overwhelming times.
Unfortunately, what we frequently hear about and see in the media is the opposite: people and organizations not only not in integrity, but also either throwing away and/or destroying people, talent, and resources (which breaks my heart).
3 Steps to Sustainable Success with Stewardship
1. Get clear about your values and vision. Integrity is when people live out their beliefs, values, and vision. People increasingly look for this integrity in their purchasing (and political) decisions. Organizations who deliver on their beliefs, values and vision that sustain the common good boost their financial bottom line.
Some of my coaching clients, possibly like you? start close to burnout, trying to keep so many balls up in the air, especially in our challenging times. My clients report, one year post-coaching engagement their sustainable success after getting clear about their values and visions and making their decisions based on those: “I am now always guided by my core values and vision- this has become center to who I am. I am busier than ever, yet feel less stressed. I am successfully managing my time and my own expectations.” “With this current job change, my values which you helped me uncover are topmost in my mind, my conversations, and my negotiations. Last year you coached me to be forthright and confident enough to confront problems head-on, which led to my ‘victory’”.
Of course the greatest sustainable impact comes when coaching starts at the top and is comprehensive, involving the entire organization and considering current and future stakeholders in planning.
2. In your vision, strategy and plans, ask, “What will provide the greatest value, now and in the future, for us (team, division), our organization and its stakeholders?” I see people as our greatest natural resource and believe we are called to be stewards (“the careful and responsible managers of something entrusted to one’s care”) of people, planet, future generations as well as our own unique strengths and organizational resources. Imagine the impact on your culture when people know they are viewed and treated as your greatest resource!
3. Get clear about your and your peoples’ strengths and how to best utilize those strengths for sustainable people and planet results rather than burn out, loss of talent and environmental depletion. And to stay on that innovative, prosperous edge, make sure you maintain diversity within your organization and board.
It starts with you. You have the ability to transform: yourself, and in partnership, your team, your clients, your organization, your stakeholder systems. Anyone within the system has the opportunity to affect the system. You are powerfully influential! I invite you to recognize that and use it positively.
Ready to partner for your and your organization’s sustainable success with stewardship? Apply for an Unlock Potential strategy session now.
Stay tuned until next week for more weekly wisdom.
To our success! We are in this together.
Marilyn O’Hearne, MSW, MCC, LLC
CQ, Master Certified Coach, International Coach Federation
First published December 5, 2018