Truly Importance of Culture as the fourth pillar of sustainability 

Truly Importance of Culture as the fourth pillar of sustainability 

The idea and importance of pillar of sustainability are not new. It has been discussed and implemented across all phases of life. Sustainability can have different definitions from different concepts but has similar scope. We aim to keep the future intact while we succeed in our present dealings. 

Sustainability is often broken down into three different categories. They are called the three pillars of sustainability and they are intertwined. Together, these three pillars form the perfect framework for sustainability. Without them, it is impossible to achieve sustainability. They are social sustainability, economic sustainability, and environmental sustainability. 

Lately, another pillar has been added to form a perfect sustainability framework. Sustainability experts have seen culture as one of the integral parts of sustainability. 

The three pillars of sustainability 

Oftentimes, these are the pillars people talk about in sustainability. Until these three pillars are satisfied, sustainability is not said to be done. Although, culture is considered the fourth pillar of sustainability. The first three pillars of sustainability find their relevance in major phases of life. 

Social Pillar 

Sustainability at any phase in life doesn’t only depend on the government or business owners. It must be acknowledged and accepted by the majority. How do people see the sustainable plan? Are your goals achievable? A sustainable idea must gain the support and approval of the people. If a sustainable plan doesn’t meet their needs, the social pillar is affected. For companies who hire employees, how do you treat your employees? Do you use them for profit only, or do you care about them? These are all the questions the social pillar is asking. Are people fairly paid or underpaid for their work? Is the workspace safe enough? 

If a sustainability plan is not giving back to society, it is not fulfilling its duty. A sustainable idea should focus on retention and engagement strategies that further increase its positive reputation among people. The social pillar is responsible for practices that benefit everybody. 

Economic Pillar 

From a business point of view, profit is essential only at the right price. Meeting the needs of the people at a reasonable cost. Many companies prioritize making a profit at all costs which are not too good. Profit at all costs is not good for business and the customers involved. Concerning governance, the government must take necessary steps that make life easy for the people economically. What policies are in place to control the prices of goods and services? The economic pillar helps companies to adopt sustainable measures that enable them devise new ways of getting raw materials and transferring them. Through this, they will be able to cost down some costs. 

The government is seen to have a bigger role to play in having a strong economic pillar. Sometimes, the levy the government places on companies makes them increase their prices or reduce their quality. People will be willing to spend on things that are worth their price. The economic pillar maintains an honest and transparent economic practice and regulatory compliance. 

Environmental Pillar 

The environmental pillar is one of the most attended to among the pillars. Meeting human present needs is important, and the effect on our planet must be considered. The government and business owners should find ways of reducing carbon footprints on our planet. Besides helping the planet, it could be a positive financial impact. From mining raw materials, transportation, processing, and distribution, the negative impact must be reduced. We cannot neglect the impact of our needs satisfying activities and destroy the future. One of the problems of the environmental pillar is our inability to adopt changes. We should learn to reuse and recycle most of our resources. 

Water is one of the most wasted resources in the world. With lots of talks on this, people haven’t stopped polluting and wasting water in some parts of the world. 

Pillar of sustainability

Culture and Sustainability 

In a couple of years, culture has been emphasized as the fourth pillar of sustainability. Culture as defined in a dictionary means the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious or social group. Culture is also seen as the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an organization. Culture is an important means to measure how values, behaviors, and beliefs influence the inclusiveness, openness, and cohesion of societies. Culture influences the quality of life, habits, and correctional measures that can be transmitted. 

There is a knowledge that comes follows culture which is expected to last as long as a race or an institution exists. Culture creates a thread that keeps an organization or a society together and also gives people the idea of how to operate in an environment. Many people see culture as the catalyst to the creation and maintenance of values for mutual trust, respect for the law, and solidarity. This serves as a guidance and motivation for people to respect themselves and other people. The foundation of societal or organizational development can be drawn from culture. 

Culture has a connection with all other three pillars of sustainability. 

Culture and social pillar 

An organization or a society can be known through the way they behave. Before a group of people will work together to achieve a common goal, they must have agreed to a set of shared values which is culture. It is hard to bring in people with different backgrounds to work together, but what binds them together is the organization’s culture. Culture as an important force behind creativity helps the organization to have more than one approach to problems. 

Respect for people, colleagues, law, and authority are part of the organizational culture that strengthens sustainability. It also affects how people relate when there are conflicts among themselves and also how they motivate one another to achieve success. 

Culture and Economic Pillar 

There are lots of advantages that culture does to the economy. Culture has brought about uniqueness in the way we do things. Today, we have intercontinental restaurants where they make local meals from across the world. That alone has served as a job opportunity and a business means to some people, thereby affecting the economy positively. Aside from that, culture provides us with tourist attractions that have helped in the development of our economy.

An obvious example is the United Arab Emirates (UAE, Dubai). Literally, they were at disadvantage because of the harsh weather condition and was seen as a desert area in the early 90s. With the help of their forward-thinking leaders, they were able to develop their country through tourism and today Dubai is among one of the most visited places in the whole world. 

Culture and environmental pillar 

Culture has a deep connection with the environmental pillar. It influences lifestyles, behaviors, environmental values, consumption patterns, reproduction, and waste management. Some people in some parts of the world are known for rearing some animals which prevents them from extinction. Culture helps in tackling some ecological challenges and consumption patterns. Environmental management practices from culture provide valuable insights for sustainability. 

c83e3641 936a 43f0 aa06 34f9c4c0fa7d

Importance of culture in sustainability 

The importance of culture in sustainability is evident in our world today. Culture helps to promote economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social management. It brings about diversity in the way we do things and uniqueness in identities. Although most cultures are diminishing with the death of the older generations. Only a few of the new generations even know about their culture. Everyone seems to be adopting western culture. 

Culture provides us with diversified means in all areas of life. Some cultures are specialists in rearing some animals while some are good are making things (art and craft). Taking Florence in Italy as an example, the city was an important cultural, economic, political, and artistic force in Europe. The city was the center stage for businesses due to its cultural values. The indigenes further continued with the innovative and discovery culture. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What is the importance of cultural diversity in sustainable development? Cultural diversity is a core part of sustainable development. The UN general assembly declared every May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. 

2. How does culture affect the economy? Culture has a relationship with education, creative industries, and manufacturing companies in creating development targets. It also helps in providing innovative solutions in all areas of the economy. 

3. Can culture help alleviate poverty? Of course, culture can help in encouraging the low-scale producers of things. The truth is most of these people are underpaid for the value they provide. A look into the culture will promote sustainability by encouraging people to make more standard cultural values that they know will earn them money. 

Culture coupled with economic prosperity, social justice, and environmental sustainability; we have the base for sustainability. Sustainability requires knowing and ascertaining a region or an organization’s values, identity, and future hopes. This will give a direction to define your actions. A direction is only effective when applied to present and future trends with a strategic framework. Culture is a tool for sustainability if properly harnessed.  

Countering Double Bind with Double Bind Leadership

Countering Double Bind with Double Bind Leadership

A double bind occurs when a person making a choice is presented with contradictory information, leading them to believe that whatever they choose to do will be viewed as incorrect. Double-bind leadership is a problem that many people have to face in the workplace.  

Sometimes our bosses or leaders fail to demonstrate warmth and competence in corporate boardrooms; they frequently experience backlash or detrimental career consequences—gendered cultural expectations known as the “double bind.” To counter double bind, in this article, we will learn how to adopt double bind leadership and what steps should be taken to counter it.  

How to Counter The Double Bind Leadership 

So many emotional and psychological issues stem from a failed double-bind leadership. To get out of the double bind or to assist our clients in getting out of a double bind, you can adopt some of the following mentioned points.  

  • flexible thought 
  • the ability to perceive beyond the evident  
  • a readiness to give up either/or restrictions. 

1. Leave Behind The Double Bind Mentality  

Double Bind

One of the significant examples of a double bind in the workplace is ‘women are cruel to women.’ Yes, there are typical interactions amongst women that can feel catty and cruel, and preconceptions about women exist for a reason. But if you think your boss is a witch, you’ll treat her like one, which makes her act even more witchy. Double bind leadership teaches us to build a long-term plan that will benefit you, your team, or your family. It is not to lash out at people in meetings or neglect your family to be accessible all the time if you are a female leader fighting to be taken seriously. 

The key is that you can only start to identify genuinely effective solutions for your circumstances after you resolve that you won’t hold stereotypes or other people accountable for your difficulties. You don’t want to become like your boss and make other people’s life miserable? Well then, you will have to adopt the idea of double-bind leadership and make your life easy.  

Put the easy finger of blame aside and acknowledge that the world you live in is a jigsaw that you must piece together. You’ll be astonished at how quickly you start to find it if you assume there is an actual, workable answer to the interpersonal problems you confront. 

Choose Assertiveness Over Aggression  

Consider a scenario in which your supervisor fails to strike the right balance between assertiveness and aggression. It would help if you first became aware of how the aggression you feel before you react “aggressively” and started to change your communication style from aggressive to assertive. According to the double bind leadership, you need to minimize the aggressive contact between you and your supervisor.  

When you become aware of how you’re feeling and stop the automatic response that other people see as hostility, you have gained the control you need to decide how you will respond. You will see a sense of accomplishment in knowing that other people do not trigger you to the point that you become aggressive. You’ll feel that their control has been lifted, and you’re free. At that point, you may opt for a more “assertive” approach.  

When you recognize your sensations, stop whatever your employer is doing that causes you to respond in a way that doesn’t feel good to you. 

Just Be Yourself  

Be the person you would be in each circumstance if you weren’t provoked, whether you are the boss or the one dealing with them. If the relationship is very messed up, it could seem not very easy even to attempt to envision. Still, once you do, you’ll start to feel miraculously better, which should be done in the double bind leadership.  

Don’t let anyone ruin your vibe; go with the flow and work hard because your work is what matters in an organization at the end of the day!  

When you believe that you are the only one accountable for the outcomes, you are engaging in the fallacy of the double bind, and the way to resolve this issue is double bind leadership.  


This article taught us how to counter double-bind thinking by using double-bind leadership. The double bind is a tricky situation everyone must face someday, but it is better to think with your brain, not emotionally. All you have to do is think positively and ignore the negative energy around you. You will see that soon you will be able to counter double-bind thinking and behavior.  

What else can you do? Well, you can look at the people around you—especially the ones who do not treat you well. You can keep that image in your mind and tell yourself daily that you have to make an effort not to be like them. Trust me that will be an outstanding achievement!  

The 9 Core Leader Competencies: Detailed Overview 

The 9 Core Leader Competencies: Detailed Overview 

Having core leader competencies is not a quality that everyone has. Instead, it’s something that many aspire to develop and master. One of the most common challenges individuals face when trying to become better leaders or improve their leadership skills is identifying the core competencies of leadership. Once you’ve identified these core competencies, you’ll be better equipped to understand what you need to work on to become an even more effective leader. 

9 Core Leader Competencies to master 

Every leader has unique skills, knowledge, and abilities that they bring to their role. However, some competencies are essential for all leaders. These core competencies are what separate the best from the rest. The ability to delegate and build a strong team is among the most important competencies for any leader. If you can’t delegate, you’ll be stuck doing everything yourself and won’t be able to grow your business. 

1. Integrity 

It also means having a solid moral character, being reliable and trustworthy, and behaving ethically. Leaders with integrity can gain the trust and respect of others, which is essential for effective leadership. However, challenges can arise when leaders are faced with difficult decisions that require them to choose between what is right and what is popular or expedient. 

2. Develop strong relationships 

Leaders must develop strong relationships with their team to create a cohesive unit that can work together to achieve common goals. However, this is not always easy, as people often resist change. Leaders must be patient and understand that it takes time to build trust. They should also be prepared to offer support and encouragement when needed. 

3. Trustworthy 

Being trustworthy is one of the most important traits of a good leader. If your team can’t trust you, they won’t follow you. But being trustworthy doesn’t mean being perfect. We all make mistakes, and how we handle those mistakes shows our true colors. If you’re honest about your mistakes and learn from them, your team will more likely trust you. 

4. Self-Discipline 

Leaders must be able to make themselves do things they don’t necessarily want to do. They need to resist temptation and distractions to stay focused on their goals. Leaders must also manage their time efficiently and stick to deadlines. As a manager, you are often given more work than you can handle, so you’ll need the self-discipline to prioritize your tasks accordingly. You’ll also need the self-discipline to get up early enough or stay up late enough to complete all of your tasks. 

5. Influential 

Leaders are often thought of as those in charge who give orders and delegate tasks. But being a leader is about more than just having a title or position of power. Leaders are influential because they can motivate and inspire others to achieve a common goal. They mastered the art of communication and can connect with their team on a personal level. 

6. Responsibility 

Responsible leaders can be counted on to do what they say they will do. They are also someone who takes ownership of their mistakes and strives to learn from them. A responsible leader always looks for ways to improve and grow personally and professionally. A responsible leader understands that no one person has all the answers. To find those answers, you must ask questions and surround yourself with people who know more than you do about different things.  

7. Communication 

Effective communication is a critical leadership competency. Communicating concisely and persuasively can help you build relationships, resolve conflict, and achieve goals. However, challenges can arise when communicating with others. For example, you may have difficulty getting your point across if you’re shy or introverted. Additionally, cultural differences can make communication difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these challenges. 

8. Team Work 

A leader must be able to work well with a team. A leader must be able to communicate effectively with other members of the team. A leader must be able to delegate tasks and responsibilities. A leader must be able to motivate other members of the team. A leader must be able to resolve conflicts within the team. A leader must know how to negotiate and make compromises. A leader should be able to use tools such as conflict resolution, active listening, or empathy to help resolve disagreements within the team.  

9. Motivating 

As a leader, your task is to motivate those around you. The most effective way is to lead by example. Set the tone for your team and be the driving force behind achieving goals. If you can do this, you’ll be well on your way to success. But if not, then it might be time to consider new methods. In any case, plenty of options are available for developing better motivational skills. 

Core leader competencies

Evaluating your competency strengths and weaknesses 

One must first understand your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have a good understanding of your abilities, you can start to work on improving any areas that may be lacking. However, it is also important to remember that no one is perfect, and everyone has room for improvement. 

1. List Your competencies 

Make a list of the leadership competencies you feel are most important. When it comes to being a successful leader, certain competencies are essential. These include communicating effectively, collaborating with others, thinking critically, and being adaptable. If you can master these skills, you’ll be well to becoming a successful leader. 

2. Rate yourself 

Rate yourself on each competency on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest. The first step is to take an inventory of your skills and rate yourself on each competency. Be honest with yourself. This is for your development, not for anyone else’s judgment. If you’re unsure how to rate yourself, ask a trusted friend or colleague for their input. 

3. Comparison 

Compare your ratings to those of other leaders in your field. There are a few ways to identify the core leader competencies. One way is to ask other leaders in your field for their opinion. Another way is to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each competency. Once you have your ratings, you can compare them to the average rating for each competency. If you find that you’re below average in any of the core leader competencies, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to improve. 

4. Identify areas  

As a leader, it’s essential to be competent in various areas. However, you don’t have to be perfect. It’s essential to identify these areas so that you can work on them and become a more decisive leader. 

5. Develop a plan. 

As a leader, Develop a plan for how you can improve in those areas. It’s essential to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Once you’ve identified your areas for improvement, you can develop a plan for how to address them. This might involve seeking training or mentorship, reading books on leadership, or practicing new skills in a safe environment. 

How do we identify the core leader competencies? 

You can take a few steps to help identify the core leader competencies.  

  • Take some time to think about your organization’s goals and what kind of leaders would be best suited to help achieve those goals.  
  • Look at the people in leadership positions within your organization and consider what skills and qualities they bring to the table.  
  • Talk to other leaders in your industry or sector and ask them what they believe are the most important competencies for leaders in today’s business environment. 

Challenges in the way of the core leader competencies. 

Leaders are the backbone of any organization. They set the tone for how things are done and can make or break a company. So, a clear understanding of what the core leader competencies are. Once you know what they are, you can work on honing those skills and overcoming any challenges that stand in your way. There are some challenges in the way of the core leader competencies. 

pexels fauxels 3184405 1 1

Workload Pressure 

Leaders are under an immense amount of pressure to get results. This can make it difficult to focus on the task and develop the necessary skills for long-term success. However, there are certain competencies that all leaders must possess to be successful.

Employee Turn over 

Employee turnover is a huge challenge for a leader. It can be expensive and time-consuming to train new employees constantly. Plus, it can lead to a loss in productivity as well as morale issues among your team. But there are ways to overcome these challenges. Identifying the core leader competencies can help reduce turnover and build a stronger, more cohesive team. 

Conflict Management 

Leaders must have the ability to manage conflict within their teams. Without this skill, team members will constantly be at odds with each other, hindering productivity. To identify whether or not a leader has this skill, look for signs of effective communication and mediation. If a leader constantly has to put out fires, it may indicate that they lack this competency. 

Workforce diversity 

A diverse workforce is a key ingredient in the recipe for success for any business. By valuing diversity, you create an environment of inclusion that respects and leverages each individual’s unique perspectives and abilities. This, in turn, leads to increased creativity, innovation, and better decision-making. But achieving workforce diversity is not always easy. There can be challenges in recruitment, retention, and training.  


Why are core leadership competencies important? 

Core leadership competencies are important because they provide a framework for leaders to identify and develop the skills they need to be effective. Additionally, these competencies can help organizations assess and select leaders and identify development opportunities. 

What are the internal competencies of a leader? 

The ability to develop a clear and inspiring vision for the future, the ability to align people and resources behind that vision, the ability to manage change effectively, the ability to make decisions quickly and confidently, and the ability to build relationships of trust.  

How many leadership competencies do you need? 

The number of leadership competencies you need will depend on the size and scope of your organization, as well as the specific goals you hope to achieve. However, a few core competencies that all leaders should possess. These are Initiative and enterprise: Leaders must be willing to initiate new ideas, develop new products or services, or change their organizations to stay competitive. 


A business is only as successful as its leaders. To be an effective leader, one must have a clear understanding of the competencies that are essential for success. Identifying and developing these competencies is critical for any organization. However, some challenges can impede the development of these competencies. By understanding these challenges, organizations can take steps to overcome them and ensure their leaders can thrive. 

© 2022 - The Black Sheep Community | BvTF houdt kantoor bij Spaces, 
Herengracht 124-128, te Amsterdam \ Kvk: 34280739 \ BTW: NL128052247B01 \ t +31655870636 Terms of use | Privacy policy