Inclusive Leadership

I have just completed the Inclusive Leadership course on Edx and in this post I’d like to share the keys things you can learn from it.

It all start with an interesting TED talk about creating a movement.

The biggest lesson…is that leadership is over-glorified. That, yes, it was the shirtless guy who was first, and he’ll get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader….If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow, and show others how to follow.

Leadership is not a person!

Leadership is about influencing others to achieve a common goal. Anyone can lead! It requires simple action. Followers are also leaders!

Who is an inclusive leader?

A person who empower the direct reports and team members, hold them accountable, is courageous and show humility. These characteristics are embedded in the acronym EACH.

Empowerment: allows people to do things their way! Support people to develop themselves and give them the space to do so.

Accountability: holds people responsible for their own actions. Trust them to do the job. It’s all about results, it does not matter the time they put in it.

Courage: helps people put group interests above personal ones. Inspiring trust letting people know who you are. Be yourself.

Humility: encouraging people to learn from one another and demonstrate vulnerability and trust. Be comfortable sharing your limitation, weaknesses with people around you. Learn from criticism.

Remember, being an inclusive leader is not about “using” everyone’s opinion and building consensus. It is about having your team, direct reports, and those you lead feel safe and comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions to enrich the discussion and arrive at a better solution or outcome.

Inclusion happens when YOU value both the differences and the commonalities of others.

“What’s critical to be an effective leader is you have to be willing to relinquish power. It is not just humility in creating space for others to contribute, says Bock, it’s “intellectual humility”. Without humility, you are unable to learn.”, Laszlo Bock

It’s important that you spend time to reflect about the kind of leader you want to become and find who are the leaders that inspires you and their attributes or behaviors
My top two leaders that I admire are Bill Gates and the Dalai Lama.
Bill Gates
  • Ability to vision the future and define a clear plan towards it
  • Ability to influence and motivate people and create movements
  • Ability to create things immensely bigger then himself to improve humanity
  • Ability to inspire people to take action
  • Confidence and passion
  • Technical competence and ability to create the most successful software company
  • Tenacity and determination in pursuing goals. He never gives up until he wins.
  • Not afraid of spending money to improve humanity and fight inequality and poverty
  • Ability to communicate complex things in a simple and understandable way
  • Ability to learn from failures and use them as a motivator to improve things
  • Ability to empower people/employees to achieve their potential
Dalai Lama
  • Compassion for other human beings
  • Ability to listen other points of views
  • Ability to keep inner peace regardless of negative situations or emotions
  • Patience
  • Humility and respect of others
An another important thing to be aware of your own unconscious bias and stereotypes

Inclusive leaders are aware of otherness and the impact it can have on individuals. Inclusive leaders not only can empathize with feelings of otherness but are also willing to explore those feelings in themselves and let that experience inform them as leaders and influencers.

It’s increasingly evident that business leaders who are capable of experiencing and demonstrating empathy, compassion, and humility have greater success. The best leaders are humble leaders.
What makes a great leader in the 21st century?
It’s defined and evidenced by three questions:
  • Where are you looking to anticipate change?The answer is in your calendar! Choose wisely what to focus on.
  • What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional network?Ability to make connections with people who are very different (biological, physical, functional, …) and despite that they trust you and cooperate with you to achieve a shared goal.
  • Are you courageous enough to abandon the past?Great leaders does not talk about risk taking, they actually do it.

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