How To Be An Inclusive Leader For Sustainable Development

How To Be An Inclusive Leader For Sustainable Development

Leadership - the key to implementing the SDGs. 

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was agreed upon in 2015 by all United Nations Members States. Summarized in 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it addresses peace and prosperity for all people and the planet, and the urgent need for collaborative action by everyone. 
At Athena Wisdom Institute AG, we put special focus on the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
Quality Education
Gender Equality
Reduced Inequalities

The SDGs include two key operational principles: those of 'universality' and 'leaving no one behind'. To achieve the SDGs depends, to a large extend, on leadership.

“Delivering on the SDGs requires leadership - transformational and inclusive leadership.”
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s keynote remarks at the 2019 World Government Summit’s SDGs in Action event. 

Driving the need for inclusion - the vital leadership capability.

How can we use inclusive business to do our part to achieve the SDGs?
What makes employees feel included? When they feel that they are treated fairly and respectfully, are valued and sense that they belong, and are confident and inspired? There are many components. But most importantly, again, it comes down to leadership
The Harvard Business Review found that depending what leaders say and act like makes a 70% difference when employees report whether they feel included or not. 
What specific actions can leaders take to be more inclusive? To answer this question, the Harvard Business Review conducted a survey with 4,100 employees and identified six essential traits: visible commitment, humility, awareness of bias, curiosity about others, cultural intelligence and effective collaboration.

Embracing individual differences – and leveraging them for competitive advantage.

Becoming more aware is essential for personal development, but not effective in isolation. Without humility and empathy, leaders are unable to gain deeper insights into their lack of understanding, bias, and ability to take criticism. Openness is not only critical for leaders’ personal development; it also makes others feel more included along the way. And that is, ultimately, the goal. 
Moreover, more companies are realizing that inclusive leaders also drive profit. They create the conditions for new insights to emerge and knowledge to develop, for diverse thinking to be respected and various perspectives to be heard, and for good ideas to become great, realistic and get implemented. Recognizing the value of diversity as a fundamental building block in the creative and innovation process is how companies stay competitive in the market. 

Diversity, inclusion and belonging – challenging power.

Today’s challenges for attaining sustainable development are complicated, interconnected, and needs everyone to work towards creating a more sustainable future. This includes radical transformations, both on the personal and institutional level, and we need to find new ways to think about work and imagine the economy. 
Our science-based and holistic educational programs aim to develop inspired and courageous leaders who have the necessary skills and tools to make the world a better place.
What is your way of leading in these unprecedented and transformational times? What would you like to improve?
This is a journey. There is a long way to go, just be sure to take the first step. It will be worth it. Together we aim to collectively contribute to the positive transformation of society! 


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