Leadership is one of the essential parts, which defines the success of the business and effectiveness of the educational institution. At the same time, one cannot underestimate the role of sustainability in the corporate strategy, as it determines the company’s competitive edge (Quinn & Norton, 2004). Nowadays, various business entities not only focus on the financial performance but also devote substantial attention to the external issues such as environmental changes (Quinn & Norton, 2004).
Consequently, the critical goal of the paper is to evaluate the understanding of sustainability highlighted by Quinn and Norton. Simultaneously, it is crucial to determine whether their vision of sustainability complies with nine critical leadership skills. Lastly, applying these business perspectives on the educational leaders will help highlight differences and similarities between these spheres.
Sustainability Meanings by Quinn and Norton
In the first place, it is vital to determine the vision of sustainability depicted by Quinn and Norton. One of the concepts of sustainability implies being active contributors to the world ecology and communities while supporting the significance of these concepts in the company’s strategy (Quinn & Norton, 2004). Focusing on this aspect assists businesses in becoming an essential definer of the stability of the ecology while influencing the ecological values of the community in a positive direction. In this case, the concept of sustainability is viewed as a critical part of the organizational philosophy since it has a substantial correlation with the corporate values and decision-making in the company.
At the same time, this term can be interpreted as the ability of the company to take into account the beliefs and satisfaction of all firm’s stakeholders (Quinn & Norton, 2004). In this case, the concept of three bottom lines was introduced, and it implies treating society, ecology, and financial stability in the organization equally (Quinn & Norton, 2004). To apply the notion mentioned above, the company has to focus on various components simultaneously while introducing one change at a time. Following this approach assists in creating favorable conditions for the firm to present changes and avoid misconceptions and retaliation among employees.
At the individual level, the concept of sustainability has a beneficial impact on the personal contribution to the positive changes in the environment (Quinn & Norton, 2004). It could be said that it not only affects the production processes and values at the organizational level but also has an advantageous influence on the actions of an individual. It remains apparent that any person as a part of the community, and sharing the viewpoints will affect the social values. Meanwhile, it could be said that the understanding of the concept of sustainability will influence one’s leadership style in a positive way while leading to environmentally friendly and consumer-orientated corporate strategy and well-developed consumer base.
Sustainability of Vision and Nine Essential Skills for Leadership
Alternatively, emphasizing the correlation between nine critical leadership skills and the vision of sustainability is vital for the in-depth understanding of these concepts and their similarities. The first competence implies that the leaders recognize their role of being an authority and its consequences (The New York State Board of Regents, 2015). In this case, the leader has to be able to take into account the essence of diversity and ensure the satisfaction of different groups of the decision-making process (Chuang, 2013). As for the concept of sustainability, it implies similar matters but considers that the actions of the authority may not only affect the attitudes of the employees and students but also may modify the views of external stakeholders such as community.
Another aspect to assure the effective leadership in education is the ability to share the vision by means of appropriate communication strategies (The New York State Board of Regents, 2015). Nowadays, the leader’s functions are extended, and one of the aspects is to focus on the alignment of the strategy with the participants’ objectives (Leavy, 2012). Alternatively, it complies with the skills of the leader such as being collaborative and supportive concerning the innovative initiatives of employees (The New York State Board of Regents, 2015). In this instance, sustainability supports similar concepts and tends to focus on the fact that all organizational constituents are the critical parts of decision-making, and their actions have to comply with the corporate goals of being ecologically friendly and socially responsible. Meanwhile, communicating with employees is an effective technique to deliver information to the audience.
Overall, the leader has to focus on long-term orientation (Nikezic, Puric, & Puric, 2012). This aspect is actively employed in the transformational and transactional leadership styles to cultivate change in the organization (Nikezic et al., 2012). In this case, the nature of sustainability supports a similar concept, as it requires substantial time to implement the modifications and ensure that the goals of all departments comply with the organizational strategy. Lastly, the leader has to be responsible for the taken risks and ready to modify his/her leadership style (The New York State Board of Regents, 2015). As for sustainability, this organizational emphasis implies taking responsibility for the company’s actions on the regular basis to minimize the produced waste and have a positive impact on the condition of community and environment.
Business Perspectives and Educational Leaders
Despite an association of sustainability with the business concepts, the educational leaders can take advantage of these matters in their educational practice. In this case, it could be said that the management of the educational institution can consider the core features of sustainability such as three bottom lines and the importance of alignment. Taking into account the concepts of three bottom lines can enhance the quality of education. It remains apparent that educational process involves a plethora of actors such as community and parents (Sherman, 2009). Consequently, considering the needs of various stakeholders will assist in choosing an appropriate leadership style and selecting suitable instructional tactics. In this case, the idea of three bottom lines clearly supports this aim.
Modern educational leaders have to be able to spot the moment for change to minimize the number of conflicts and dissonances (Davidson, 2012). This aspect entirely complies with the conceptualization of sustainability, as modifying the organizational values can emphasize the needs of the community and decreases the percentage of misunderstandings. Using the features will assist in enhancing collaboration between different components of the education system. Simultaneously, it will improve innovative initiatives and help cultivate change in the organization while reducing the impact of its adverse consequences.
The aspects mentioned above can be applied with the assistance of progressive leadership in education (Sherman, 2009). In this case, the educational leader pays equal attention to all contributors of the education and engages them equally. This matter can be delivering to the target groups such as parents, teachers, students, and community representatives with the help of various events and meetings. In this case, enhancing external environment will assist in creating favorable conditions to pursue educational excellence. Based on the factors depicted above, it could be said that the educational sphere can benefit from the business of sustainability and improve its strategies to communicate its vision to the audience.
Chuang, S. (2013). Essential skills for the leadership effectiveness in diverse workplace environment. Online Journal for Workforce Education and Development, 6(1), 1-24.
Davison, P. L. (2012). A 24/7 public possession: Understanding the dissonance and grace of being a post-secondary leader. The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 42(2), 13-33.
Leavy, B. (2012). Updating a classic formula for strategic success: Focus, alignment, repeatability, and leadership. Strategy & Leadership, 41(1), 18-28.
Nikezic, S., Puric, S., & Puric, J. (2012). Transactional and transformational leadership: Development through changes. International Journal for Quality Research, 6(3), 285-296.
Sherman, S. (2009). Haven’t we seen this before? Sustaining a vision in teacher education for progressive teaching practice. Teacher Education Quarterly, 36(4), 41-60.
The New York State Board of Regents. (2015). Growing tomorrow’s leaders today: Preparing effective leaders in New York state. Web.
Quinn, L., & Norton, J. (2004). Beyond the bottom line: Practicing leadership for sustainability. Leadership in Action, 24(1), 3-7.