Becoming an Inclusive Leader

In the 21st C, where competition is fierce and going to be fiercer, inclusive leaders are the only ones that are capable enough to lead their organizations to the next height. Inclusive leaders don’t feed their ego and seek to be right all the time. They are graceful when their ideas and positions are questioned. They don’t demand compliance from their people without merit. They’re confident enough that they are not threatened when diverse views and ideas are expressed within their organizations.

They, on purpose, promote diversity of viewpoints internally. They are inclusive who entertain ‘organized disagreements’ knowing that such an organization enjoys a great deal of benefit from the collision of diverse ideas. They understand that when ideas collide, the best idea prevails. Rather than being entrapped by ordinary and common ideas and preventing their organization from becoming the best in what it does, inclusive leaders liberate their organization from such imprisonment of mediocracy by creating a safe environment that encourages well-organized disagreements.

For their organizations (whether they are for profit, non-profits, charitable organizations, political parties, NGOs, etc.) to innovate and continuously improve and grow- they pay the necessary price. Some of the prices include but not limited to being vulnerable to be challenged, willing to listen even those ideas they don’t like and understand, and open to be corrected when they are wrong, and when their ideas and proposals are inferior.

Your country, community, and the world at large needs confident and inclusive leaders in the New Year who are willing to design within their organizations organized disagreements, entertain diverse views, and who are willing to tolerate outliers within their organizations.

Inclusive leaders, rather than attempting to build cult around their personality and surrounding themselves with a monotonous team filled with ‘yes’ men and women, they are committed to the higher purpose of the organization and the Greater Good by allowing people to speak their minds freely and without being ostracized!

What kind of leader do you want to be? What will be your legacy? Do you want to be remembered as a control freak? Or, are you willing to become inclusive? It is your choice. Here, in front of you, is a New Year to become a more inclusive leader. If you’re not in a leadership position right now, what kind of leaders are you supporting? What role (s) should you play in the New Year to make your team and leaders more inclusive?

If you would like to become an inclusive leader in this New Year and beyond, first, be bold and decide to break away from the tradition of intimidating dissenters. Purposefully invite people that may not agree with you all the time. Recognize and incentivize those in your team who are willing to risk and express differing views.

Create a culture that promotes diverse viewpoints and a corporate culture that embraces inclusiveness if your desire is to tap into the talent, uniqueness, experience, and full potential of all of your people! It’s a different era, demands to have a different attitude and approach as a leader in this awesome century.

Wish you in the New Year success as you attempt to become a more inclusive leader!

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Diversity and Inclusiveness workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Diversity in the Workplace workshop:

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