“The character of the leader underlines the content of the message.” – John Maxwell
When I read this I couldn’t help but think of Green Team Leaders. Many times I find in a hotel management team that the wrong person has been assigned to the role of the Green Team Leader – not because they aren’t competent or don’t possess leadership qualities, but because they haven’t yet developed a “green character.” It is hard for a team to get inspired by someone who does not live the values they are tasked to uphold. So how does one develop a “green character?” You don’t have to become a hippie or staunch environmentalist to develop a green character – you just need to embrace the values of your Green Team mission statement.
To build up YOUR green character, focus on the following:
Live the Message
Reduce your own personal consumption of energy and water, and reduce the amount of waste you produce. Do this by thinking ahead – plan your route, choose products with little or no packaging, walk short distances rather than drive, bring reusable cups. It takes a little forethought, but makes a big difference.
Speak from the Heart
You have heard the saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This is the key to green team leadership. It’s very important to have head knowledge about green initiatives, but it’s impossible to inspire a commitment in others unless they see that commitment in you. Take an introspective look into your own belief system to be sure that you see how the green practices you are leading are aligned to your own values.
Have a Stake in the Outcome
In other words, take it personally. A green team leader is more apt to inspire action in others when they are personally affected by the success or failure of the initiatives. Assume responsibility for the results. Lead those horses to the water and make sure that they want to drink!
Recognize Your Role in the Grand Scheme
It’s important to understand that your efforts will not only improve your hotel’s environmental performance and bottom line, they also contribute to an overall endeavor to protect the Earth from harm; and the affects are far-reaching. View your efforts as more than “doing your part.” As a Green Team Leader, you are making change happen in the world.