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Coaching Leaders to think Globally

This article gives you an insight as to where my work is heading.

Visitors to my site, people I coach, my friends and colleagues all know that I am passionately interested in matters of global sustainability. What is becoming steadily more obvious is that all leaders carry a particular responsibility to take a global perspective when planning and implementing strategy because of the influence for good or ill that they can have. Increasingly my clients, many of whom are such influential leaders, are asking me to coach them around this because they are becoming more aware of this responsibility. For now,I'm calling this aspect of coaching - eco-coaching.

Why is a global perspective important? Because we are all operating in a global environment - not just a global market. We need to be aware of how our actions, however small, impact the world at large and we need to be aware of what we can and will do differently. That is a leadership responsibility. The more aware we are, the more effective we can be.

Effective at what? Effective at creating for ourselves and our children a world in which all flourish rather than some and not others. Accepting this premise may well require a shift in our worldview i.e. in the way we see others and ourselves. Eco-coaching is about helping clients to explore their worldviews and the possible non-immediate impact of their thinking, actions and strategies. Eco-coaching is not about consulting on environmental measures a person might take - that is up to the client to discover.

So, what's the proposition? If you agree that we live in a highly interconnected and interdependent world, it follows that to increase our own prosperity and security we must ensure minimum and sustainable standards of prosperity and security for others, not just in our immediate community or country but also in the entire global community of which we are a part. Achieving this is no easy task, but it is leaders who have the most potential to change things.

It is rapidly becoming apparent that individual security and prosperity and global security and prosperity are more and more one and the same thing. When our perspective changes from 'me' to 'us' and then to 'all of us', we start taking responsibility for making decisions from a global perspective.

Ultimately an interest in the whole planet is synonymous with self-interest and it is this insight that many leaders are starting to have. Such leaders accept the proposition that our long-term prosperity is much more likely to be assured from this 'all of us' perspective and from strategies that flow from it.

How does eco-coaching help? The purpose of eco-coaching is to stimulate the transformational learning that occurs when existing frameworks, ways of thinking and assumptions are held up to the light, examined, thought about and re-examined in the context of this proposition.

What would I, as a leader, get out of 'eco-coaching'?

  • You are interested in acquiring a global perspective. That alone may be enough
  • You are interested in the long-term prosperity of your organisation
  • You accept the interconnectivity argument at the levels of financial, climate, political and security and want to explore this further
  • You accept that for you to flourish, so too must others
  • You are interested in how to make decisions in your own interest and that of the system. Evidence shows that better decisions CAN be made where 'better' means that all stakeholders in the wider system benefit and none are severely disadvantaged

Finally, if leaders continue to move this way it can eventually mean 'all of us' achieve a level of sustainable happiness, prosperity and security sufficient to eliminate the worst inequalities in the World with their inescapable negative impact. This is the vision of my eco-coaching.

If you'd like to do explore this further, please contact me.

Copyright © 2013. Dr M H Munro Turner. All rights reserved