Monday, April 11, 2011

The "Green Power Broker"

Since the start of this blog I've been wanting to write a post about Majora Carter. She is arguably one of the most if not the most influential woman in environmental change. After learning about transformational leadership, I've started to realize Majora fits perfectly in this category of leadership. She has many environmental projects that have been major successes but the most impressive thing about her is her ability to be a leader in ANY type of situation (private sector, non profit, etc) but to also help enable her followers. In an earlier post I questioned if there was ever going to be some type of leader that would be more effective with environmental change than others. I truly believe that transformational leadership is going to be the most successful in terms of reaching through to our society on environmental issues. Peter Northouse claims in our book that transformational leadership is ideal right now because of the uncertainty and fear our society is feeling. Transformational leadership inspires and empowers individuals and this is simply the need right now for our society as a whole. 

Here is an excerpt about her first green initiative from The Green Economy Post:

"Before going into the private sector, she founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 after writing a $1.25M Federal Transportation grant to design the South Bronx Greenway with 11 miles of alternative transport, local economic development, low-impact storm-water management, and recreational space. She has brought riverfront parks, green roofs, dramatically expanded the urban forest, created a community market,and successfully implemented the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program – seeding her community with a skilled green-collar workforce that has both a personal & economic stake in our environment.  It was one of the nation’s first urban green collar training and placement systems."

After working on the Sustainable South Bronx Carter has been president of a private, for-profit "green" economic consulting firm, The Majora Carter Group, LLC. They specialize in consulting for firms on how to go green along with also funding new green initiatives. Also, she has been in the media advocating for various issues and speaking on everything "green." She has been featured on countless radio shows, was a part of the original 6 TED videos released, and had a special on HBO. 

She is very interchangeable and can lead in literally any situation you put her in. What sets her apart however is her ability to truly connect with her followers. Currently our society has a need of shifting towards being more "green" and most of us are willing to or even want to, but no one has really shown us the way. She isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and is right in the "trenches" with everyone else on all of her projects. She has enabled the entire Bronx community and has not only provided jobs and programs for the community but has also shown her followers how to get one of these jobs or how to be a part of one of her programs. Her personality and her ability to inspire has allowed her to be a successful transformational leader. 

Majora Carter continues to be president of The Majora Carter Group and also still gives speeches frequently. She has been one of the most successful leaders in green and as others look to step up and lead I hope they take into account how she has leveraged transformational leadership into success. 

I do have a few questions to consider...

1. Do you believe Majora Carter is utilizing transformational leadership? If she isn't what type of leader do you feel she is?

2. Do you feel transformational leadership is an effective way to lead in the green initiative? 

Dan Salsinger

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