Leadership: A Reluctant Businessman

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Yvon Chouinard is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, legendary climber, and surfer. He is also a writer, writing essays on outdoor climbing issues and ethics, and more recently publishing a book about mixing environmentalism and sound business practice in corporate policies (Green Economy Initiative, 2011). Chouinard is most noted for his clothing and gear company, Patagonia, Inc., where he has constructed a culture that strives to create an ideal working environment where employees thrive and become more productive at the same time. Patagonia’s environmental ethic is outstanding, having founded 1% For the Planet, an alliance of businesses that contribute at least 1 percent of their net annual sales to approved environmental organizations, and is working to revolutionize supply chain transparency in their company. Sustainable business practices have been at the core of the company since it was founded in the late 1950s – long before sustainability and being “green” became buzzwords. Yvon Chouinard is not only a successful business person, but a leader with discipline, vision, and influence.

There are many definitions of what makes a great leader. When US News chooses America’s Best Leaders each year, they judge based on the following criteria: Setting direction, cultivating a culture of growth, and achieving results. Sustainable leadership focuses on leaders who have helped create products and services with positive environmental or social impact; in others they have helped build a corporate culture that rewards and nourishes employees and stakeholders in new ways. According to Maxwell (2002), successful leadership is determined by a leader’s effectiveness and impact on their organization. However, to gain t...

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... cotton and other recycled materials in its production. Yvon Chouinard is an inspiring example of how far an individual can go in the direction of making his life a grand adventure and achieving great success.

Works Cited

Green Economy Initiative (2011). Yvon Chouinard. Retrieved June 14, 2011, from http://greeneconomyinitiative.com/news/164/ARTICLE/1366/2009-01-20.html

Maxwell, J. C. (2002). Leadership 101. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Naturally Advanced Blog (2011, March 17). Posts tagged 'Yvon Chouinard' [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://naturallyadvanced.wordpress.com/tag/yvon-chouinard/

Patagonia Inc. (2011). Patagonia.com. Retrieved June 14, 2011, from http://www.patagonia.com/us/home

Triple Pundit (2010). And the top ten most "sustainable" CEOs are... Retrieved June 14, 2011, from http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/01/top-ten-sustainable-ceos/

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