Sustainable leadership: daring to build a better world … a new book from Russell Reynolds

June 4, 2022

I have a soft spot for Russell Reynolds, the executive search firm. They found me my first CEO role, and have always provided inspiration about what really matters to leaders, based on their practical insights. Clarke Murphy is one of their team, their Board and CEO Leadership Advisor,  and has just published a great new book.

In Sustainable Leadership: Lessons of Vision, Courage, and Grit from the CEOs Who Dared to Build a Better World, Murphy shares a useful toolkit for delivering better business results through sustainability-centred actions. Sustainable in the sense of responsible, for people and society. Sustainable in the sense of longevity and enduring impact.

He explores what it takes to become a Sustainable Leader and how you can turn your sustainability promises into tangible action.

Drawing on the real-life stories of Sustainable Leaders from across the world – from companies like Adidas, Heineken, Duke Energy, Natura &Co, Maersk, Mahindra Steel, and Salesforce – Murphy seeks to prove that sustainability success is within reach for every business, and is a key to leadership success too.

I particularly liked his insight from working with Soren Skou at Maersk, who he calls a “moonshot” leader, one who has bigger and bolder ambitions, even if they don’t know exactly how they will get there.

Like many others – inspiring authors and business leaders like Paul Polman to Marc Benioff – he seeks to debunk the myth that sustainability is at odds with profitability, and instead focuses on how to make sustainability your new growth strategy.

He explores strategies to prepare your up-and-coming executives to carry the sustainability mantle and help you hit your short and long-term sustainability goals.

  • How to set a bold vision for change—and bring stakeholders along on your journey.
  • How to overcome setbacks—from not having all the answers to learning from mistakes.
  • The specific skills and mindset you’ll need to deliver on your sustainability promises.
  • How to inspire the next-generation of sustainable leaders to cement your legacy well into the future.

He calls it an essential blueprint for CEOs, boards, founders, entrepreneurs, and other business executives, and is equally relevant to specialists in business, Chief Sustainability Officers and ESG professionals, looking for immediately actionable approaches to increase the long-term viability of their organisations.


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