chapter  1
19 Pages

The Seven Unsustainabilities of Mainstream Leadership

ByJem Bendell, Richard Little, Neil Sutherland

This chapter argues that the prevailing leadership imaginary, so far from supporting the transition to a sustainable society and economy, may actually hinder it and be itself unsustainable, in the sense that it depends on the discoursal maintenance of power relations. It suggests that it may thus discourage or disable more collective, collaborative, or distributed forms of leadership, deliberation, organizing, and problem-solving. The chapter describes that professionals who avoid the seven unsustainabilities of leadership will enable more positive change; that organizations will witness more positive change. It summarizes the critiques by stating Seven Unsustainabilities of Leadership and therefore made seven recommendations for more sustainable leadership. The chapter integrates the critiques by outlining "seven unsustainabilities" of mainstream leadership thinking, and the antidotes that are relevant to sustainability. Mainstream approaches to leadership are keenly focused on the development of permanent, stable, and hierarchically positioned individuals, rather than to the development of collective, relational, or dialogical leadership.