TLP384: Innovation, Climate Change, and Social Issues Like Ageism and Gender Equality with Mark Mellett

Mark Mellett, Founder and Director of Green Compass, with a distinguished 48-year military career, served as Chief of the Navy and Ireland's 31st Chief of Defense. He's a strategic expert, recognized for leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark chairs the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority, leads Sage Advocacy, and is a Lifetime Fellow Council Chair at The Irish Management Institute. His research focuses on innovation, climate change, and social issues like ageism and gender equality. Notably, under his command, the Irish flag ship's crew ranked among Ireland's top 50 workplaces. Mark brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to positive change. Mark discusses modern leadership, highlighting the importance of technology, balancing doctrine with adaptability, and fostering trust through open communication. Mark addresses the challenges of the strategic landscape, emphasizing diverse teams and collaboration across sectors. As chair of Sage Advocacy, he advocates for gender balance, challenges traditional retirement norms, and stresses the wisdom of older workers. Transitioning to Green Compass, Mark underscores the urgency of addressing climate change, emphasizing the value of biodiversity.      Key Takeaways: [01:28] Mark Mellett, founder of Green Compass and a seasoned military leader. Mark shares his diverse roles, from chairing the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority to leading Sage Advocacy.  [04:10] Mark discusses modern leadership in 2023. He emphasizes subsidiarity and mission command for empowering young leaders. Mark talks about the crucial role of technology in decision-making and urges leaders to balance adherence to doctrine with adaptability. Mark also touches on building trust by sharing responsibility for mistakes and embracing a "black box thinking" culture of open communication.  [08:56] Mark explores the challenges of the modern strategic landscape. He emphasizes the impact of information flows and technology while underlining the necessity of diverse teams. Mark discusses the complexities of managing diverse opinions and bureaucratic structures, advocating for collaboration and coalition-building. He highlights the integration of government, civil society, and the market for effective progress. Mark also talks about the importance of focusing on communication, stressing the importance of investing time in explanation for better understanding and alignment. [14:30] Mark talks about the evolving definition of "like-minded" leaders in a world of diverse opinions. He emphasizes the importance of finding common ground through dialogue and discussion, even amidst differences. Drawing from his experience in Afghanistan, Mark shares a story of breaking down silos to achieve a common goal—successful elections. Mark also shares a powerful Irish saying, "niat Kakur lekela," which means "There is no strength without you.”. [16:08] As the chair of Sage Advocacy,  Mark discusses his advocacy for the rights of older people in Ireland. He emphasizes the strategic risk of gender imbalance and highlights the correlation between the gender gap and global peace. Mark addresses challenges such as aging populations and dementia. He challenges the traditional retirement model, stressing the wisdom older workers bring to the workforce.  [25:20] Mark discusses Green Compass, his response to the pressing issue of climate change. He reflects on his childhood in Ireland and the drastic environmental changes he has witnessed. Emphasizing biodiversity's critical role, Mark stresses the need to assign value to it for preservation. He delves into the anthropocene, highlighting the tangible impacts, such as recent climate-related disasters claiming thousands of lives. He also touches on population forecasts and the concerning shift from a green to a gray world. Despite the challenges, Mark emphasizes the leadership responsibility to address and mitigate these issues. [33:17] Mark shares a funny anecdote from his early days as a young officer, emphasizing the importance of clear communication. The story illustrates the need for leaders to articulate expectations clearly to avoid unexpected outcomes. Mark reflects on leadership responsibilities and the value of admitting mistakes as opportunities for learning and discovery. [37:13] Closing quote: Remember, Unity is strength when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. – Mattie Stepanek   Quotable Quotes: “And one further rule besides subsidiarity is nobody should feel uncomfortable in the workplace.”   “The more diversity you have in your team, no matter what level, the more capacity you have to deal with complexity.”   “But if you maintain a network and a framework and able to build that coalition of like-minded leaders, you may well find a solution.”   “If you don't have economic security, you don't have the fuel in the tank to keep on going.”   “Sometimes, people who assist in decision-making, will actually do so with a vested interest that sometimes is about disenfranchising older people.”   “Sustainability is something you should be willing to punish yourself for if you don't uphold.”   “Who owns biodiversity? You do. I do. We do. But when we don't put value on it, it's wasted, it's damaged, it actually becomes extinct.”   “In leadership, do not step back, do everything possible to nudge and push and to cajole, to build that coalition of like-minded leaders who might not entirely agree on everything, to actually make those decisions required.”   This is the book mentioned in our discussion with Mark:   Resources Mentioned: The Leadership Podcast | Sponsored by | Rafti Advisors. LLC | Self-Reliant Leadership. LLC | Mark Mellett LinkedIn | Mark Mellett Website | Mark Mellett Twitter | 

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