Jan 26, 2022

Leadership and Sustainability in Housing

Leadership and sustainabilityOur friends at Greenacre Group have highlighted the connections between leadership skills and the sustainability agenda.  Here’s what they wrote.

As social housing providers get to grips with climate change and endeavour to drive forward sustainable solutions to the ongoing crisis, succession planning for future development goals will be essential.

In order to meet key targets, understand fiscal impact, collaborate with the right people and drive much needed innovation through the sector, senior professionals will need the right skills to develop both people and process, so that both work effectively and in harmony. As with global sustainability goals [1], the success of local and national outcomes will depend on effective leadership. A combination of acumen, self-awareness, strong vision and a collaborative mindset, which reflects the sector’s core values and ethics, will be essential in tomorrow’s housing development climate.

“The world needs effective leadership for sustainable development and this leadership requires an inner process, in which a leader must first be grounded in an understanding of self and a relational view of the world, in order to effectively work with others to make change.”SDG Knowledge Hub

Having a competent and effective sustainability approach, combined with the right leadership skills,  will be key in developing successful strategies, not just within our own organisations, but across the entire sector.

Here are 6 key leadership skills [2] that will be necessary for driving effective sustainability in 2022:

1. Self-awareness – Being aware of and focusing on our strengths, how we interact and how others perceive us help to enhance our most valuable leadership traits, boost our own and others’ performance and attract the right partnerships for cross-collaborative ventures.

2. Trust – Building mutual trust within our teams, external partnerships and with our tenants/customers generates improved outcomes for all involved, allowing for open and honest dialogue and a free flow of essential information and ideas.

3. Effective communication – Communicating effectively [3] as an organisational leader is critical when developing sustainability goals, particularly in a climate of hybrid/remote working, and an often-fluctuating micro and macro environment.

4. Leading with inclusivity – The ability to understand and drive individuals or collaborators towards a common goal despite complex differences is an essential skill when working towards joint sustainability targets and key industry objectives.

5. Navigating through uncertainty – The ability to respond rather than react, to adapt quickly and make fast decisions through often unchartered territory will continue to be key leadership skills as we head towards a sustainable future.

6. Allowing space, time and resources for innovation – Creating a sustainable future requires a creative mindset and an understanding that often, failure drives innovation and success [4]. Often the first instinct is to cut back on resources for innovation if we cannot see a certain outcome or if the potential risk is perceived too high, particularly in the public sector, however, great leaders understand the importance of creating safe spaces to fail.

The Leading for Tomorrow [5] programme run by Greenacre Consult includes modules on the above key leadership development skills, as well as Masterclass contributions from top industry influencers from both in and out of sector

There are still a few limited spaces left on the upcoming programme, so if you would like to prepare your future leaders for driving a sustainable future in housing, follow the link [6] or contact @Daniel Short on 07730 126 444/[email protected].


[1] Generation 2030: The Essence of Leadership for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals | SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD

[2] Modules – Leading for Tomorrow

[3] The Importance of Communication in Sustainability & Sustainable Strategies – ScienceDirect

[4] 6 things we’ve learnt by having an innovation lab | Bromford

[5] Leading for Tomorrow – The world keeps changing

[6] Link to the article – Leadership and Sustainability in Housing (linkedin.com)


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