Responsible Leadership and How a Lack of It Can Be Fatal: Environmental Edition (5 min read)

For decades, many people in power made and continue to make decisions that exhibit a serious lack of care. Responsible leaders care for the present and the future. Responsible leaders question every decision to guarantee a safe home and bright future for generations to come.

Let’s see where we got today with a lack of caring and non-responsible decision-making. We will talk about the environment today, a topic that millennials and gen-Zer’s have put on their top issues list.

We cannot survive without nature. The relationship we had originally established with nature is that we enjoy, embrace, love and responsibly control it. That relationship grew into abuse and disrespect.

8.3 Billion Metric Tons of plastic has been produced since plastic’s use became prominent in the 1950s. And plastic doesn’t biodegrade, which means all plastic waste created still exists in some shape or form and will continue to exist for hundreds or thousands of years. There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in our galaxy. And these are horrifying facts regarding only plastic pollution.

You might remember the BP oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 2 million gallons of toxic dispersants were sprayed into the water. Eleven people were killed, and 82,000 birds were harmed alongside 30,000 marine mammals. The investigation following the incident found that the companies involved with building and maintaining the pipe that burst had made decisions to cut costs and save time that contributed to the disaster. And if you google “companies that leak oil into water,” it is disturbing how many other different examples pop up that occurred after the BP spill, meaning no proactive or reactive action was taken by other companies even after seeing what happened with BP.

The burning of fossil fuels in cars, electricity and basically everything that powers our modern society is directly linked to air pollution, water pollution and land destruction. And with decreasing plant life (meaning less oxygen produced), the problem will only get worse.

Oceans are heating up and becoming increasingly polluted. Glaciers are melting. Coastal cities are on high alert. There are more intense weather patterns, causing significant damage.

The list goes on.

What this tells us is that “business as usual,” led by an agenda that disregards our next generation, our environment, the long-term and the bigger picture. Simply put it is an agenda that thrives on a lack of care.

It is very difficult for us as consumers to completely stop using plastic and stop utilizing fossil fuels at this point in our society. Of course, there are small things we can do to alleviate the issue, like decrease our plastic straw intake and switch to using stainless steel bottles for water.

But the core issue that needs to be resolved is the agenda and leadership in companies that consistently disregards the problems that a lack of care creates. It’s easier to think short-term and use resources while they’re cheap and available. But this opens way for bad consequences that end up being too big to fix.

The environment being impacted negatively is a prime example of how a lack of care in those with power leads to larger problems later – for everyone. Consumers, clients, and businesses ALL suffer from shortsighted decision-making. Consider the long-term next time big shoes need to be filled. Don’t take the route of the first solution that pops into your mind until you have calculated all the layers of decision making.

I am not here to recruit you all to be environmentalists – but I am here to recruit you to care about every decision you make every day about people, business, environment and future.

How? Here are thoughts you should consider all together:

How will your decision impact you personally?

How will your decision impact your close personal relationships?

How will your decision impact your friends and your social network?

How will your decision impact the team at work and your organization?

How will your decision impact our society?

How will your decision impact our future generation?