#15 Thoughts on Leadership: Earth Day Reflections

By Gino Blefari

A casual suggestion, a way to spark pointed discussion and quiet contemplation … that’s how Earth Day began on April 22, 1970. After a devastating 1969 oil spill off the once-pristine coast of Santa Barbara, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, a longtime environmentalist, realized one day each year must be set aside for citizens of the world to unite and quite literally stop to smell the roses. This year, for the 45th time, people around the globe did just that, celebrating the beauty of our Earth in an international observance themed, “It’s Our Time to Lead.”

And indeed, it is. I was recently reading a letter from Berkshire Hathaway Energy CEO Greg Abel and the gist of his poignant message was this: The Earth isn’t just our home, it’s also our responsibility. His sentiment couldn’t be truer, or form a more important imperative that we, as leaders, must tackle in order to ensure a bright future for generations to come.

The good news is, we already have the right forward-thinking mindset to address the issues swirling around Earth Day discourse; it’s written somewhere in a leader’s unwritten code that we must constantly have one eye on the present and one eye fixed toward tomorrow.

But how does all this fit into our everyday routine? In some ways, we might respond by starting a recycling program in our office or digitizing processes that were once completed on paper. In other ways, this might mean not just a healthier Earth but also a healthier you. It might happen by taking a walk each morning before work or giving yourself a five-minute break during the day to simply stretch your legs.

So, here’s the message: However you commemorated Earth Day, remember today that the holiday isn’t over once April 22 has come and gone. We should take every day to celebrate the world—imagining a time of clear, unpolluted skies and glittering, clean seas—and work to be responsible leaders of our land.

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