Woman looking at a huge globe.

For people and planet

Defining Responsible Leadership


Leading by Example

What is Responsible Leadership?

"Responsible Leadership means doing the right thing when nobody is watching."

Peter Johnson

BMW Foundation Responsible Leader and Founder of Ayadee Foundation

What makes a Responsible Leader

Qualities of Responsible Leaders

Responsible Leaders are:
  • Goal-oriented: A Responsible Leader’s primary goal is creating a better world. They use their knowledge, networks, and influence to deliberately work toward this goal. 
  • Radically collaborative: Responsible Leadership starts with a mindset of radical, meaningful collaboration. Responsible Leaders are guided by a deep respect for other people. They have a desire to work together — even to partner with unlikely allies — to create positive change. 
  • Forward-thinking: Responsible Leaders are not confined by short-term, linear thinking. They always consider the bigger picture — meaning they see social, political, and environmental challenges in a larger context.
  • Bold: Responsible Leadership requires a willingness to take risks and embrace the messy, creative process that may be required to truly change systems. 
  • Interdependent: Responsible Leaders do not see themselves as isolated actors or heroes; rather, they see themselves as connected to the people, places, and systems around them.
  • Inspiring: Responsible Leaders multiply their impact by influencing and motivating others to take action.
  • Values-driven: Responsible Leaders are guided by a strong set of personal values, such as courage, respect, integrity, and empathy.

"The greatest value of the Network is this incredible trust by proxy. Wherever I am in the world, I know that there are people I can reach out to."

Chryssa Koulis

BMW Foundation Responsible Leader and Social Entrepreneur

A Community of Purpose

The Responsible Leaders Network