During a CIM webinar on ‘Encouraging Solutions to Gender Inequality’ Charlotte Sweeney (Inclusion, Diversity, Wellbeing and Change Leadership specialist) presented a slide on the characteristics of Inclusive Leaders. She made the point that during working life, most people will come across just one or two leaders that truly fit this bill.
Get to know the people in their business personally.
Focus on the quality of work not the number of hours put in.
Help those around them understand the strategic bigger picture and how they fit in.
Help those around them identify their own strengths and encourage them to build on these.
Actively seek out the ones who could make it to the next level.
Are open to feedback on their performance, behaviours and their skills.
During the webinar the question came up: ‘How is this list any different to what we know the characteristics of any good leader to be’?
The answer to this is that an Inclusive Leader understands that every person influences culture. They recognise that diversity is a fact of everyday life and organisations that have diverse workforces thrive because of the different views a diverse team brings. Value is placed on working with people who are different to yourself, and with this comes a willingness to challenge ‘normal’ behaviours or processes which in turn breeds innovation.
An Inclusive Leader recognises that every person can make a difference no matter what their level in the organisation, no matter their experience or career goals, because every individual has something useful to contribute. And when individuals understand how their contribution adds value and supports the achievement of the corporate strategy, the collective ‘pull’ drives the business forward.
Do you work for an Inclusive Leader? Are you an Inclusive Leader? What value is placed on diversity within your place of work?
Leave a comment below.