Jaume Gallifa, MBA


The Foundation and Integrative Dimensions of Sustainable Leadership

In this post, we explore the core components of our Strengths to Flourish for Sustainable Leadership mindfulness and character strengths program.

The Flourishing Circle Vision on Sustainability

We believe the transition to an ethical, sustainable, and socially connected world is only possible through a profound, fully conscious, and engaged inner transformation of aspirations, beliefs, and values, along with the competencies and qualities required by individuals, teams, and organizations playing a role in fulfilling sustainable development goals (The Inner Development Goals, 2021).

Such whole flourishing comes hand in hand with thriving, collaborative, fair, and transparent organizations, made possible thanks to creative, inclusive, and harmonious teamwork, as well as sustainable and insightful leadership of everyone at all levels.

Integrative Dimensions of Sustainable Leadership

For The Flourishing Circle, cultivating sustainable leadership in a team encompasses many integrative and creative dimensions:

  • Engaged Universal Ethics: Creative leadership engagement, interdependence, and collective transformation in line with UNESCO’s « Manifesto 2000 for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence » (UNESCO, 2000, 2010).
  • Self-Leadership: Getting to know own strengths and competencies, aligning unconscious and conscious motives, purpose, values, and beliefs with self-congruence, and engaging with balanced self-endorsed actions towards self-actualization and transcendence (Caillet, 2013; Barrett, 1998; Dweck, 2017; Kaufman, 2018, 2020; Maslow, 1943, 1954, 1962/1968; Neck & Houghton, 2006; Neck, Manz & Houghton, 2020; Quinn, 1996; Ryan, & Deci, 2000, 2017; Wiedemann, 2018).
  • Leadership: Insightful and impactful influence with systems thinking, valid and appealing vision, mission, shared values, strategy, sustained energy, service orientation, and community concern. Demonstrating excellence with courageous self-management (vs. leading by imposing power and authority). Achieving results with effectiveness and decisiveness (Anderson & Adams, 2016; Cameron, 2021; Gill, 2011; George, 2003, 2015).
  • Super-Leadership: Sharing leadership and cultivating leadership in others with trust and empowerment, engaging in development relationships (coaching, mentoring, networking) and practical experience (assignments, new roles, teaching, volunteering) (Lombardo & Eichinger, 2011; Manz & Sims, 1989; Pearce & Manz, 2005).
  • Embodied Emotional Intelligence: Lead from a selfless and humble heart (vs. with ego) cultivating long-term relationships (vs. accumulating transactional relationships) with integrative self-awareness, social and system awareness for gathering information, developing insight, and facilitating well-being and adaptation. Strategic solution focus with self-regulation and a positive outlook (George, 2003, 2015; Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2003/2013; Goleman et al., 2013; Goleman, 2013; Goleman & Senge, 2014; Schein & Schein, 2018).
  • Team Bonding: Teamwork based on the appreciation of the strengths of others with self-confidence, self-esteem, calmness, openness, curiosity, trust, and gratefulness (Cooperrrider, 2012; Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987; Cooperrider & Whitney, 2005, 2007; Cooperrider, Whitney & Stavros, 2003/2008; Cooperrider, 2012; Goleman et al., 2013; Meier, 2005.)
  • Procedural Lifelong Leading: Resilience through change, risks, challenges, and failures with practical continuous learning, feedback, and innovation (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2003/2013).
  • Communities of Practice: Engagement in social leadership practice is the fundamental process by which we learn to lead and so become the leaders we already are. Practical and informal learning accounts for 90% of the total development journey of a leader (Wenger, 1998, 2013; Wenger & Snyder 2000).

The Foundation of Sustainable Leadership

Both ancient wisdom and modern leadership science recognize that any sustainable inner transformation and competence development endeavor is based on a few foundational components:

  • Insight into the wholeness of human nature, which includes all character strengths manifested in sustainable leadership practice, like authenticity, humility, perspective, energy, perseverance, courage, and compassion, among others (Laloux, 2014¸Nhat Hanh, 2006; Niemiec, 2018; Sosik & Cameron, 2010; Grahek, Thompson & Toliver, 2010).
  • Integrative awareness and regulation of attention, both known to be the foundation of sustainable leadership and teamwork with self-determined behavior, intrinsic motivation, curiosity, enjoyment, and life satisfaction, as well as the foundation of all emotional intelligence competencies (Ryan, 1995; Ryan & Deci, 2000; Brown & Ryan, 2003; Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007; Brown, Creswell, & Ryan, 2015; Ryan & Deci, 2017).
  • Positive outlook and solution focus, with unconditional positive regard toward oneself and others, an attitude of acceptance and respect without judgment, as well as being friendly, generous, and considerate with oneself and others (Rogers, 1951, 1957, 1961).

We are pleased to offer to leaders and teams a unique Strengths to Flourish for Sustainable Leadership evidence-based mindfulness and character strengths program that includes all the mentioned sustainable leadership dimensions (Niemiec, 2014; Niemiec& McGrath, 2019).


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