Posted by: chrismaser | March 31, 2012




Chris Maser, with a chapter by Jessica K. La Porte

Virtually anyone can learn the mechanics of leadership and decision making, but its true heart and soul are born in a genuine love for people of all generations and the wisdom to protect their dignity and the social-environmental sustainability that nurtures them. Authentic leadership is embodied in four, self-reinforcing feedback loops of human behavior.

The first is an inner, metaphysical relationship, which determines how a person treats himself or herself. It is the individual’s sense of spirituality, self-worth, personal growth, authenticity, inner strength, and so on. In short, it is degree of psychological maturity attained through personal growth that determines the level of conscious a person exhibits in accepting accountability for his or her own behavior and its consequences.

The second relationship is how we treat one another. Not enough can be said for civility, respect, and hospitality toward other people. If we use these basic human behaviors to frame our leadership and the wisdom of compassion inclusion in our decision, we can focus more on the mutual values that bind us and less on the tension between our beliefs and attitudes. In the finally analysis, all we have to give one another of value—ever—is our love, trust, respect, and the benefit of our experience.

The third relationship is between people and their environment. Here, a basic principle is that community programs must be founded on local requirements and cultural values in balance with those of the broader outside world, which includes understanding environmental issues, long-term biophysical trends, and their social-environmental ramifications. After all, social-environmental sustainability is a reciprocal relationship between people and the land based on the constraints of nature’s inviolable biophysical principles. Simply put, as we nurture the land, we nurture ourselves. As we abuse the land, we abuse ourselves. This is a critical nexus, because every society and nation is rooted at the local level.

The fourth relationship is between people in the present and those of the future. Here, the question is: Do we who living today owe anything to the future? If our answer is “No,” then we are surely on course, because we are consuming resources and polluting the Earth as if there were no tomorrow. If, on the other hand, the answer is, “Yes, we have an obligation to the future,” then we must determine what we owe and how much, because our present, non-sustainable course is rapidly destroying the environmental options for all generations—present and future. Meeting the obligation we say we have will require a renewed sense of morality, one committed to being other-centered in caring for the welfare of those to come as we wish vastly more of those before us had considered our welfare in mapping the outcome of their decisions and actions.

Finally, the essence of leadership is the imperative that we take personal responsibility for our words, deeds, decisions, and their consequences because the first step toward the social-environmental sustainability begins with the respect and the quality of care we give ourselves. We must then extend that respect and care to our families, friends, and neighbors, because the sustainability of a community, which is the foundation of every nation, is but a reflection of the health of its citizenry as measured by how people treat one another and thus protect the biophysical sustainability their surrounding environment as part of everyone’s birthright in all generations.

Chris Maser, Series Editor

“A deep exploration of ways to change the current decision making paradigm that fosters social-environmental sustainability, this book offers a sound, rational, and viable alternative to the chronic human disease of competitive, materialistic, symptomatic thinking. Bases on the author’s more than 45 years of research and broad, international experience, the book elucidates the necessity of a systematic approach to decision making in the face of the current environmental crises.

Publisher’s description
CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Decision Making For A Sustainable Environment is a challenging read on a whole range of levels. Deeply personal, deeply reflective, courageous, and atypically altruistic. If you find yourself in self-analysis while reading this book, then you have got the point.”

“Not for the faint-hearted, Decision Making For A Sustainable Environment reminds us that humans have a power and responsibility to make wise decisions when it comes to sustaining the natural world that we are part of.

“The Earth is a complex place made more so by humans. Decision Making For A Sustainable Environment places the role of humans on the Earth in the right context: be humble, be respectful and be aware.

Dr. Andrew W. Claridge
Senior Research Scientist
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
New South Wales, Australia

“We find ourselves looking for a path to the future. Economic uncertainties and structural failures as well as imminent eco-catastrophes cloud our vision. Our community has watched its logging identity collapse, leaving a void in nearly every area of life except our hope. In his newest work, Chris Maser has captured the fear, the challenges, the limitations and the ever-changing flow that can move us beyond the quest for mere economic survival through tinkering with the socio-economic and ecological status quo. Maser’s articulation of a ‘systemic’ approach can help us work together as we forge a future built on relationships, a future that honors our history, recognizes our present circumstances, and listens to our children . . . an ever-changing and sustainable future. How scary and exciting!”

Carol Lewis
Community Development Director
City of Sweet Home, Oregon

Decision Making For A Sustainable Environment: A Systemic Approach. 2012. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

If you want more information about this book or want to purchase it, visit “BOOKS” on my website.

Text © by Chris Maser 2011. All rights reserved.

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If you want to contact me, you can visit my website. If you wish, you can also read an article about what is important to me and/or you can listen to me give a presentation.

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