DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
[lead·er·ship]: the office or position of a leader.
In my view, leadership at one point was about power and control; the inclusive leadership of today is about empowering others. The reality is what is needed to empower people of diverse backgrounds and the barriers that get in the way of their empowerment are unique. Leaders who want to create inclusive workplaces and leverage today’s global workforce need not only understand the privilege dynamics that can hinder or enable others’ successes, but also manage their own privilege effectively.
Based on our work with organizations and having encountered leaders that were considered as either inclusive or exclusive, we have identified the following attributes of Inclusive Leadership:
- integrating diversity and inclusion into the business strategy
- fostering an inclusive and fair work environment
- building effective relationships across lines of difference
- attracting, coaching, sponsoring and developing diverse talent
- managing inclusively
- managing privilege.
I also believe that leader must have vision. There are many differences between having sight and having vision. While it is preferable to have both, a leader without vision is a leader without direction. Sight has limits and reveals roadblocks whereas vision is limitless and provides a roadmap. Simply possessing vision doesn’t make a great leader – helping others to see what you see and inspiring them to live in the vision arena creates hope, innovation, change and enthusiasm. Vision is the foundation of leadership. Empowerment is the goal of leadership!
[pow·er]: possession of control, authority, or influence over others.
The new definition of power is empowering others.
Doug believes we have misunderstood the dynamics of power for a long time. This misunderstanding has resulted in a misuse and abuse of power which has left people broken, afraid, hopeless and feeling powerless. Doug has seen first-hand how working together creates a power that is exponential. In contrast to power being top-down, Doug sees power as being all-around. Each individual can increase their power when and only when they seek to empower others. It is not powerful when you order people around and ignore their contributions. It is powerful when you encourage others to live in their power and bring their best to the situation. Broken, afraid, hopeless and powerless people cannot bring their best to the table as they are too busy addressing those issues. However, when they feel respected and valued their contributions are multiplied. Individuals and leaders are more powerful when they empower others. Become known for developing empowered people and watch your power of influence expand.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
[di·ver·si·ty]: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements.
[in·clu·sion]: the act of including.
[ləv]: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.
Some may think of love as a warm fuzzy feeling, but the cold hard truth is that employed correctly it can make the difference between:
- cowering in moments of truth and courageously grabbing those moments that shape our personal success.
- managing a team of disengaged employees and leading a team of inspired colleagues
- surviving from one fiscal year to the next and building the kind of organization that thrives.
Love is often not a word that is corporate acceptable, but it is a word that fuels powerful leadership. If you happen to be in a position of leadership, love is your main force. Once you love yourself you will be able to allow others to be themselves and this is a gift like no other. Allowing people to be themselves is empowering those people to offer their best and be their best. Love also allows you to be truthful because you know that truth will make your people better. Love is not about what you do but more about who you are. Through my series, The Love Principle, we take a deeper dive into the concept and applications of love to help individuals live, lead and perform to their highest potential.
[priv·i·lege]: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.
While much has been written on the concept of privilege there is an opportunity to explore the concept specifically as it relates to leadership in today’s organizations. Privilege should be viewed across a wide and often subtle set of attributes that result in everyone, particularly leaders, being privileged in some form. As opposed to privilege being a passive factor that simply runs in the background for leaders, we conclude that leaders can in fact manage privilege actively. When leaders manage their privilege, it is argued that many individual, team and organization benefits can be achieved. These positive outcomes include: personal growth and effectiveness, more authentic relationships, increased levels of respect, expanded circle of influence and maximized employee performance. Understanding these outcomes is critical in helping leaders advance through the following stages that we label as bliss, awareness, overprotection, enlightened, and ultimately managing privilege. It is by sharing practical stories and tips that we hope that leaders can become better equipped to not only understand how they are privileged, but more importantly how they can manage that privilege to create an even more inclusive workplace, community and marketplace.
u·ni·ty: the state of being united or joined as a whole.
My dad once told me that if you have two minds that think alike you don’t need one of them. The fact of the matter is diversity helps you get out of the “group think mindset”. As CEO of The Kaleidoscope Group, a D&I consulting firm, I’ve worked with individuals of all backgrounds and organizations of all sizes to help create cultures where inclusion is top-of-mind and the bottom-line grows. Though there is commitment, there are challenges in getting individuals and communities cooperating and collaborating, achieving even greater success. The D&I journey is different for each organization, but we need each other to be transformational; we can all learn from each other. I have made it my life’s work over 35 years to help clients across the globe maximize the power of Diversity and Inclusion. it is my strong belief that we are better together. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the conversation about how Unity can improve outcomes. I find it interesting that many see unity as agreement, I see unity as inclusion. The truth is: Disagreement, itself, is neither good nor bad. But our approach to it can make it a good or bad thing. We all come to the table with different experiences, preferences, and beliefs. If we’re listening to and benefitting from as many voices as possible, there will definitely be moments where we disagree. However, if we can disagree respectfully and learn from one another, we can create an environment where our differences are valued to produce unbelievable results. Let’s not run from disagreement, but let’s participate in it in a respectful manner. We can’t be our best when perspectives are limited or narrow.