The Positive Deviant
Sustainability Leadership in a Perverse World
By Sara Parkin
Routledge – 2010 – 336 pages
Routledge – 2010 – 336 pages
An economy low in carbon and high in life satisfaction will require thousands, if not millions of exceptional leaders. This book is the first to bring together sustainability knowledge with the leadership skills and tools to help you become one of those leaders. In it you will find everything you need to get started straight away, and to grow your effectiveness, even in a world that remains perversely intent on the opposite. Whether you are new to the whole idea of sustainability, or reasonably well informed but not entirely confident about what to do for the best, this guide will help you 'do' sustainability. Free of checklists and policy recommendations, the focus is on you, and on developing your capacity to identify the right thing to do wherever you are and whatever your circumstances. This is essential reading for those in or aspiring to sustainability-literate leadership, and a must for all those teaching leadership and management.
"We are going to need the best possible leaders to guide us out of this mess and start us on the path to a sustainable future. In this fascinating book, Sara Parkin condenses her years of teaching experience into the definitive 'how-to' guide to sustainability leadership. Should be compulsory reading for everyone over 16." – Tim Jackson, Economics Commissioner, UK Sustainable Development Commission and author of Prosperity without Growth
"Want to know how the future thinks? Plug into the world of the Forum for the Future Scholars. As Sara Parkin, eminence grise behind the Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development, puts it, 'The Future starts here'" – John Elkington, Executive Chairman, Volans Ventures; co-founder, SustainAbility; co-author, The Power of Unreasonable People
"With stalled international conferences and debates, and with the need for a sustainable economy and ways of enjoying life ever more pressing, this book is a brilliant response. It takes us by the hand and leads us through the ambiguities, the uncertainties and the difficulties and shows us what we can all do. And why we need to do it." – Chris Smith, Chairman, Environment Agency of England and Wales
"A veritable bible for leaders everywhere - business schools take note!' – David Puttnam, film producer and politician
"If life is too short to stuff a mushroom, it certainly isn't long enough to delay action on climate change. Business, government and campaigners alike, The Positive Deviant will give you all you need to become a sustainability leader and do the right thing yourself - straight away and despite the ditherers." – Fiona Reynolds, Director, The National Trust
"This book offers an opportunity…for anyone in or aspiring to a leadership role to get up to speed on essential information very quickly…,and, until there are many more suitable courses available, to design for themselves a journey to sustainability-literate leadership." – PRWeb, September 2010
"This book is a thoughtful, stimulating and timely contribution to currenty thinking on sustainability" – In Touch Magazine
"For anyone aspiring to be sustainability literate positive deviant this is a recommended read. It is full of good practical ideas, tools and techniques grounded in Parkins' lifelong experience in the pursuit of sustainability." – Steve Martin, IES
Introduction Part 1: The Anatomy and Physiology of Unsustainable Development Introduction: Getting The Diagnosis Right Matters 1. The Symptoms 2. Anatomy And Physiology 3. The Treatment Conclusion: A Once in a Lifetime Chance to get it Right Part 2: Lost Leadership Introduction: A Dysfunctional System 4. The Best and Worst of it: Leadership Today 5. Business School Betrayal Conclusion: Transformation Means no Going Back Part 3: Sustainability Literate Leadership Introduction: Let Thousands of Positive Deviants Flourish! 6. Four Habits of Thought 7 . New Perspectives and Broad Knowledge 8. Principles of Practice and Tools for the Trade Conclusion: Practical Wisdom Part 5: A Global Sustainability To Do List Introduction: Global Challenges, Local Contributions 9. A Global Sustainability to do List Conclusion: Design your own Prologue: The Future Starts Here Bibliography: A Good Read
Sara Parkin is Founder Director of Forum for the Future, the UK's foremost sustainable development charity and a life-long campaigner for a socially and environmentally just way of life. She established the well regarded Leadership for Sustainable Development Masters at Forum and received an OBE in 2001 for services to education and sustainability. In the past Sara has played leadership roles in the UK and European Green Parties.