Leadership and the Environment

Share

240: Fred Krupp, part 1: Helping where it will help most

Ep. 240

The loudest voices these days seem to come from protesters because they design their actions for attention. They aren't necessarily the most effective.

Many of us are outraged. Our emotions become intense. Emotional intensity drives us to do what we want most, which doesn't necessarily lead to what's effective. As I see it, people are venting more than leading.

I criticize the lack of leadership around the environment because people overwhelmingly spread facts, figures, doom, gloom, and telling people what to do. In no area besides the environment do effective leaders say, "Here's how to lead: spread facts, figures, doom, gloom, and tell people what to do."

Effective leadership works when based on the views and motivations of the person you're leading. For many that's uncomfortable. But it works.

Fred and EDF's sober, thoughtful approach of working with big business is accessing the biggest potential change and leading them.

I wrote a friend on a group geared toward confrontation:

They seemed heavy on demands. I hope that style works for them. It felt domineering to me. I consider protest important. At the same time, I consider it important to offer help to people and organizations we'd like to change but that don't know how to on their own, which is my strategy. One of my definitions of leadership is to help people do what they want to but don't know how.

Fred and Environmental Defense Fund's strategy isn't designed for maximum attention, but for maximum effect in one area---in particular, those with large potential for change, even those not appearing environmental. This strategy is close to mine.

Without organizations like EDF helping, companies that could change might instead protect themselves by hiding potential problems. I've been trying to meet Exxon, for example, but the "Exxon Knew" campaign motivates them to protect themselves and hide information. That campaign may be for the best, I don't know, but I see the need to offer a hand too, to help them come up with strategies they couldn't have.

EDF does more that just work with corporations. For example, they're launching a satellite to detect emissions. Having helped launch a satellite as part of my PhD, I love the audacity and effectiveness.

In my conversation with Fred, I focused on the leadership part, but we cover more, including his personal background and EDF's.

After you listen, I recommend applying to EDF's internship he described. Organize, vote, and lead politicians, corporate executives, and others with authority to act environmentally.

By the way, I met Fred Krupp, the head of the Environmental Defense Fund, through past guest, Bob Langert, McDonald's former head of corporate social responsibility.

More Episodes

7/5/2020

356: I was assaulted again this morning. Can I talk about it?

Ep. 356
While I was jogging (actually plogging) along the Hudson River around 7:30am, a person not wearing a mask stepped into my path, blocking me, saying the person's shoes had been stolen. The person seemed to let me pass, but then threatened me and threw a bottle that shattered at my feet as I ran past. I kept running, the hair on the back of my neck standing up and my adrenaline high. I don't know if the person had a weapon.I describe more and some of how it affected me in the audio.I was first going to say I was threatened since he didn't touch me. I'm not a lawyer so I looked up the definition. According to FindLaw.com's page on Assault Torts and Injury Law:legal scholars define assault as an intentional attempt or threat to inflict injury upon a person, coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm, which creates a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or offensive contact in another.Notice the words “attempt” and “threat” above. In tort law, assault does not require actual touching or violence to the victim. We use another term for the touching or contact: “battery.”Here are the notes I read from:The story from this morning runningHappens all the time, not daily but throughout my lifeI don't think he did it because black, but I suspect were I not white it may not have happened. Can't say this time.When I stayed in AtlantaFriends say, you can say to us but careful with othersShared about mugged childhood, but still happeningMaybe there is a secret white suburban life I don't know aboutRecently white friends have started sharing how they've been muggedConsistent with Dov's saying how sharing stories will lead to others feeling they can share tooThat's all background. Here is my point: every time I bring up suffering or being threatened, while I may get some listening, the other person always says, remember others have it worse---not that person, not even someone with their skin colorSo they don't know from experience but they're telling me as if I haven't heard before, and they're presuming to know my experienceI don't know anyone's experience but mine, but everyone absolutely everyone dismisses it without asking, presuming it's the caricature in the mainstream.When I hear white people talking about BLM, George Floyd, there's always this mea culpa. Maybe they are guilty, I don't know. I never hear them speak about their problems. Maybe they have no problems, maybe I'm unique, but that people open up with me when I share and they hear I'm not white supremacist or racist---though in today's world white people even mentioning race without saying how they are allies or something making up for guilt or things like that---then they tell me about their experiences, but they insist on my respecting their confidence, which of course I do.So much of what I hear from white people sounds so similar andinauthentic, I don't think they're being open, honest, or candid. Maybemany are as privileged as they say, but people have told me about being attacked, their lives threatened with weapons, and so on.I think about risks maybe not every day, but all the time. And when Idon't, some guy walks into my path, throws a bottle at me, and threatens me.For a while I feared sharing messages like this because people mightsuspect I'm turning into a white supremacist. I came to terms that ifpeople think that about the opposite, I can't let their preconceivednotions hold me from acting for equality."White Like Me," Eddie Murphy's Saturday Night Live sketch I referred to
7/2/2020

354: Harvard Global Health Institute Director Ashish Jha, part 1: Front Line Pandemic Leadership

Ep. 354
If you've followed sensible, expert advice on the pandemic, you've probably read or seen Ashish Jha in the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, Washington Post, and everywhere. On Tuesday he testified to the US Senate.He's Harvard's Global Health Institute's Director. Over 200,000 people have taken his online Harvard courses, which you can for free. Over 80,000 took Ebola, Preventing the Next Pandemic and over 120,000 took Improving Global Health: Focusing on Quality and Safety. As it turns out, we were college teammates on the ultimate frisbee team.I'll link to a few top articles by him. With so many interfaces between the pandemic and us---health, government, research, policy, etc---you can read a lot of his views and experiences from different sources.I wanted to bring the personal side of leading on the front lines and top levels of a pandemic---how do doctors and public health experts feel about people not following advice, facing triage decisions, how to be heard, and what affects a doctor personally. We talk about leadership, the intersection between the pandemic and the environment, which overlaps with his directorship and courses, and more.By the way, he created his Ebola course five years before this pandemic and predicted much of it, as did many. If predicting what's happened so far isn't enough reason to follow his advice, I don't know what is. Let's wear those masksAshish's faculty profileCoronavirus Testing Needs to Triple Before the U.S. Can Reopen, Experts Say, NY Times article quoting AshishIn the W.H.O.’s Coronavirus Stumbles, Some Scientists See a Pattern, NY Times article quoting Ashish Pandemic Expert Dr. Ashish K. Jha ’92: “We Will Get Through This.”How We Beat Coronavirus, The AtlanticHere's the reason we are still shut down right now, CNN video