The view which one holds regarding the role of humans in the natural world may function like a “moral compass” for leaders and their organizations as they make decisions with consequences for Nature. A human-centered approach to leadership makes it difficult for us to make the nature-centered choices that are necessary to sustain the environment, but a more nature-centered view can help achieve this goal. This paper proposes the following: First, leadership theory and practice is customarily perceived as a human-centered endeavor (about humans, for humans), and this human-centered perspective works to distance humans from the natural world. Second, nature-centered leadership is a legitimate view and includes viewing Nature as a stakeholder in the strategic planning process. Third, those who study leadership theory should question the anthropocentric presuppositions that inform leadership theory and practice. Leaders are in a key position to encourage dialogue among stakeholders to examine these presuppositions when planning for the triple-bottom-line (people, planet, and profit). Finally, the “precautionary principle” will be recommended as an important consideration for organizational planners when the consequences of their decisions are unclear. Nature-centered leaders influence this planning process in their efforts to preserve the environment for future generations.
|Keywords:||Leadership, Strategic Planning, Environmental Leadership, Nature, Triple-Bottom-Line, Sustainability|
Professor of Biology and Educational Leadership, Graduate Studies, Alvernia University, Reading, PA, USA