Before getting into the detailed study of Van Jones, we must know what is strategic leadership? Strategic leadership is one of the leadership styles which gives the image and the route to the growth and success of the organization (Clayton). Every executive in any organization needs the tools and skills for both strategy formulation and its implementation. It is the approach taken by the management of a company where all the aspects of the leadership are lined up with the business objectives and strategy (Jones).
Anthony Kapel Van Jones, an American environmental advocate, attorney and civil rights activist, is a co-founder of four NPO, was born in September 20, 1968. He founded a national advocacy organization named Rebuild the Dream, which works towards to make a fairer economy. He was then appointed by the President of United States to a newly formed position “Special Advisor” for the Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality where he worked on improving the vulnerable communities (Lipman-Blumen). In strategic leadership the leaders allow themselves to contemplate strategically where they can effectively navigate the unknown. Van Jones knows how to collaborate, influence and integrate power to lead organizations effectively. The success of his leadership depended on the judicious and equivalent alignment of operations, corporate culture and strategy (Mburu).
There are seven principles of strategic leadership in changing the world related to Van Jones can be put in the following way:
- Strategic leaders have future strategy and are future oriented.
- Strategic leaders have the ability to get things done.
- Strategic leaders are very fit to lead.
- Strategic leaders are research led and are based on evidence.
- Strategic leaders have the ability to open new horizons.
- Strategic leaders make good partners.
- Strategic leaders do the “next” thing right.
There are many evidences and studies from Van Jones’ life which we will throw some light on.
There are many people who fought against the brutality of police. Although, it is very tough to solve this problem but many people are still fighting against it. We cannot always find justice in these cases because many people cannot survive these brutal cases. Van Jones has dedicated his life against the issue of police brutality since there was an incident in his life which acted as a turning point and made him protest. In the incident the police had brutalized and abused a young man and mercilessly left him to die, this mad Van Jones made built an organization where he can raise his voice against this issue and those police who torture the people. He started PoliceWatch which led a successful campaign in which they fired Marc Andaya who was accused of in-custody death of a black man who was unarmed. This certified referral portal helped in tracking problem precincts, officers, practices in just a click, which then identifies the offenders and troublemakers (Jones and Conrad).
Van participated in the protest of Rodney King verdict as a legal monitor. He along with many other protestors was arrested and the district attorney put charges against Jones. He said that the activism was encouraged by seeing the racial discrimination.
In the year 1996, Van Jones founded Ella Baker Centre an umbrella NGO. It is an action centre and a non-profit strategy centre. The aim of this centre is to work for peace, justice and opportunity in the urban America. It is named after an activist Ella Baker. This centre exclusively works in the course of four movements so as to break the sequence of the violence in the urban area. It also entitles to end the disinvestment in the cities and the excessive racist policy. It also calls for better and clean environment, schools and many prospects for the people.
In October 2008, he released one of his books named “The Green Collar Economy” where he defines the issues which are big enough that the country is facing and will face (Jones, Conrad and Kennedy). He began promoting environmental justice and eco-capitalism. The campaign of Green Collar jobs was an effort to improve the economic and racial equality with the desire to alleviate the concerns of the environment. Van Jones is in favor of the combination of regulation, conservation and investment as the way to encourage environmental justice and oppose the environmental racism. At an interview he told that this is a “third wave of environmentalism” which makes the Teddy Roosevelt conservation era the first wave. He said that we are proceeding to an era where our survival will demand innovation and invention on the scale that anybody has ever seen before. So the success and our survival are directly attached to new eco-entrepreneurs. Jones’ marketing campaign's grassroots nature led to calling it a victory for the entire green-collar jobs movement.
In the year 2009 it was declared that Jones will serve as the Special Advisor at the White House Council for Environmental Quality. He worked under the administration of Barrack Obama which resulted into $5050 million for the training of green job. He has worked as the advisor and helped administer the inter-agency procedure that directed $75 billion in the recovery spending of green energy. Jones received many criticisms from the media for his past activities in politics which included his involvement in STORM; this made him resign from his position.
Clayton, Helena. 'The Changing Leadership Landscape'. Strategic HR Review 11.2 (2012): 78-83. Web.
Jones, Van, and Ariane Conrad. Rebuild The Dream. New York: Nation Books, 2012. Print.
Jones, Van, Ariane Conrad, and Robert Francis Kennedy. The Green-Collar Economy. New York: HarperOne, 2008. Print.
Jones, Van. Strategic Solutions For Business & Economics. [S.l.]: Mcgraw-Hill Primis Custom, 2003. Print.
Lipman-Blumen, Jean. Connective Leadership. Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
Mburu, Antony. Strategic Leadership. Colne: Lap Lambert Academic Pub., 2010. Print.