Arianna Huffington winner of Tesla Sustainable Leadership Awards 2014 shares her vision on leadership, sustainability and mindset in conversation with Umesh Mukhi, Director of Sustainable Leadership and Aleksandar Protic and a columnist for Mindthis
What has been the most amazing leadership experience for you?
Hands down, co-founding the Huffington Post and serving as its editor-in-chief for what’s going to be nine years on May 9. The chance to work with so many talented editors and writers, especially now that we are a global operation with editions in eleven countries, inspires me on a daily basis.
You have been very active in the B Team, International youth community; could you share some of your present initiatives which aims at changing the mindset of the world?
I’m delighted to be a member of the B Team, which is determined to change the values that drive businesses, to prioritize people and planet alongside profit, and to move beyond our obsession with quarterly earnings and short-term growth. We believe that, at a time when so many governments are gridlocked and paralyzed and unable or unwilling to pursue big, bold, far-sighted goals, the private sector has a responsibility and a unique opportunity to become a catalyst for fundamental change.
With Mother’s Day coming up, I’m supporting the Global Moms Relay, a campaign to help people around the world share stories of how a mother changed his or her life, and raise money to help women and children around the world lead healthier lives.
And my new book Thrive is all about putting a spotlight on a major global shift in the way we define success. We are living through an incredible time, when modern science is validating a lot of ancient wisdom. That’s why, in Thrive, I’ve included 55 pages of endnotes to convince even the most stubborn skeptic that we need to unplug, recharge and reconnect with ourselves, and by doing so, actually improve every aspect of our lives.
You have been promoting a holistic approach to work and life balance, how far does it play an important role in shaping the mindset of society?
It plays a hugely important role in connecting us to our inner wisdom and our capacity for compassion and giving. And this is what we need most urgently if we are going to address the major threats facing us, including climate change and growing inequalities.
What does Sustainable Leadership Mean to you ?
It means acknowledging our collective responsibility for what isn’t working, and guiding us to a deeper understanding of what is working. It means striving for full transparency, new structures, and a pledge to stay true to our values.
A sustainable leader must also emphasize that personal sustainability is the first step to global sustainability. On an individual level, people are burning out. And on a collective level, we’re burning up the planet. We need leaders who are committed to strategic plans and goals centered on an agenda of people, planet and profit —and not just token gestures to sustainability.
The Interview has been featured on Sustainable Leadership Blog. The Sustainable Leadership Summit is global platform to showcase best practices and engage trans-sector dialogue from business,government and social sector across the world in context of sustainability and leadership.
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