Thoughts on Climate Leadership
I recently attended two different leadership trainings: a Mindful Leadership retreat at Esalen and Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership training in Minneapolis. Both were amazing, informative, and empowering.
Esalen was the perfect place for a powerful mind-body experience exploring transformational leadership in beautiful Big Sur. Masterfully led by meditation/sustainability teacher Deborah Eden Tull and Bioneers founder Nina Simons, the 5-day Mindful Leadership retreat outlined 9 principles of Relational Mindfulness based on Tull’s book by the same name: Intention, Sacred Pause, Deep Listening, Mindful Inquiry, Turning Toward, Taking Joyful Responsibility, Not Taking Personally, Transparency, and Compassionate Action. We were invited to deepen our connection to our own true purpose, and the generous amount of time and space provided by the format allowed for some profound and necessary shifts in perspective. I learned that leadership is something requiring everyone, each in our own way, becoming more fully ourselves. We all have gifts we were born to share, and now is the time to bring them forward.
Al Gore’s Climate Leadership Training, held in the LEED certified Minneapolis Convention Center, minted 1,200 brand new trainees from all over the country and was impressive on many levels. First of all, the event was carbon neutral, which has inspired me to start calculating the carbon footprint of my own events. Check a site like this or this for calculation, then purchase necessary carbon offsets. The primary goal of the training was to continue building an army of voices, armed with up to the moment facts, visuals, and inspiration, to go into their communities and make presentations to neighbors, political leaders, and corporations about the urgent need for immediate change to solve the climate crisis. We have the science data, and the technology is available and evolving rapidly, all we need is a groundswell of public demand to act. As Mr. Gore says about rapid transformation, “We must, we can, and we will”. Leadership is now thought to come in as many forms as there are unique individuals, each expressing in their own way. Every large undertaking requires vision, execution, organization, distribution, cleanup and communication, as well as may other types of support. Whether you like being out in front or prefer leading from the back, it will take everyone’s effort to make it happen. On November 20-21, 2019 24 Hours of Reality: Truth In Action is a global day of simultaneous presentations, and I have pledged to join in. I will keep you posted on where I am presenting.
Climate change is the ultimate collective problem. My vision is that this existential crisis may in fact bring polarizing factions closer together, since our only real hope is to create the world anew, unified in purpose and cooperation. When we clarify our common goal, which is to nurture life on earth rather than destroy it, our differences can start to dissolve.
What are we waiting for?