Diversity and sustainability as a new base for leadership


  • Emoke Takacs Ms
  • Toon Abcouwer




leadership, stewardship, diversity, sustainability, Me-We-All, life-long learning


Current developments in contemporary society require a fundamental re-discussion of some commonly accepted “truth”. This paper highlights some critics of economic, societal and environmental aspects relevant to sustainability. Analysing these three aspects affecting individuals and society makes us consider the different beneficiaries, their knowledge sources and management. Our paper discusses a new type of leadership in our uncertain world by shifting the focus from economic, societal and environmental aspects to regarding the beneficiaries as well: the individuals (Me), the organisations (We) and the society (All). Experiences built under changing circumstances require less and less focus on knowledge transfer and more on knowledge exchange. Basing ourselves only on knowledge sources (from scientific (trustworthy?) sources) is questionable and needs reconsideration. The importance of exchanging experiences among managers and leaders shows the need for life-long learning. The use of information/knowledge is becoming more relevant than its ownership. Moving the focus to use and interpreting knowledge is a differentiating factor that forms the basis for creating value. In cooperation, where decision-makers share ownership and communicate their interpretations, we explore a new role for the “we” (the organisational value), compared to the traditional orientation where organisations only fulfil individual (shareholder) value or alike. Our finding lead to new forms of equity, where the chances for success are equal, regardless of educational level, gender or cultural background. A sustainable society for everyone requires a broader view of reality than only for the privileged ones. It is also a different approach to striving for diversity. For sustainability, as the world’s ability to host our successors, managers and leaders should not limit themselves to traditional certainties, like intellectual property, value and ownership.