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“When we really engage white male leaders in diversity and inclusion efforts,” says Bill Proudman, “It frees up women, people of color and those of different nationalities from the fatiguing work of helping and coaching white men to understand their world, and that of others.”
Inclusion isn’t about business as usual. It isn’t a skill set that we learn from reading a book. Being inclusive is about our ability to understand on our own values—and recognize that what we think and say drives what we do.
When it comes to developing inclusive leadership, the courage it takes to challenge our own biases may just be the most important leadership skill of all.
Ignoring, disregarding, shunning, or excluding members of your organization can wreak havoc on your team and your bottom line. And many leaders don’t even know they’re doing it.
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When it comes to creating a diverse and inclusive organization, nothing really happens until senior leaders start to question everything, including who gets the opportunities to advance.
In our research, the best leaders are often the most inclusive ones. They recognize their privilege, mitigate the negative impacts of it, and use it to pull people into an open dialogue whenever possible.
Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working.
Putting a high premium on the “uniqueness” of each individual contributor in an organization may make for a highly innovative organization. But too much uniqueness can also lead to chaos.
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