Inclusive Leadership

Getting Started with Inclusive Leadership

Getting Started with Inclusive Leadership

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It’s easy to gloss over or simplify the need and desire for inclusive leadership. Sure, a sliver of responsibilities involving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is in the early stages of hiring, but the rest is evenly distributed throughout an employee’s experience and life cycle. And one thing is for sure, it all starts with a great leader

So, what is inclusive leadership?

Inclusive leadership is more than an idealistic concept. It’s a strategic approach to utilizing the diversity of professional surroundings. Inclusive leaders consciously leverage both the similarities and differences when developing their business goals.

Why is it imperative, and who is it for?

The market is changing, and recent workforce trends show just how valuable it is for companies to adapt to diverse consumers, talent, competition, and ideas. New, current, and future employees not only care about having inclusive leaders but can benefit from teams with a healthy mix of perspectives. And so can you.

Ideas behind inclusive leadership

Diversity and inclusion aren’t about meeting a quota of particular people for your teams or business. It’s actually about creating an environment where your employees and professional network feel seen, heard, and valued.

Challenging the status quo is how business leaders stay one step ahead of their competition. By prioritizing ideas of fairness and connectedness, organizations can truly reap the rewards of what they’ve sown.

Traits of inclusive leaders

Companies dedicated to continuously developing their leadership roles and mindset don’t have to guess the next steps in their seamless transition. Deloitte Insights’ report on inclusive leadership capabilities resulted in 6 distinctive traits essential for an inclusive leader. 


Decision-makers are putting their intentions on their sleeves. When vision, values, and beliefs align with goals for inclusion, let it be known. If you’re not quite there yet, but that’s where you’re aiming, let that be known as well!


The determination and persistence to keep up with the demands of a modern workforce can take a toll. Recognizing areas of weakness and still pushing forward for long-term success is a test of strength organizations are capable of overcoming.

Cognizance of bias

Businesses may be doing their best to pay attention to blind spots, but it’s easy to take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach when there aren’t diverse perspectives in your personal or professional circles. It’s not about knowing everything. It’s about being willing to know more.


The competition is fierce, so benchmarking and social listening are helpful when aiming to meet inclusive leadership goals. Having an open mindset when adopting new processes and taking chances allows inspiration for growth.

Cultural intelligence

It’s incredibly rare for team members to share identical backgrounds and upbringing in any professional setting. Take advantage of the bank of knowledge, strategies, and ideas from different cultures within your company. 


Encouraging cross-team participation and mentorship is how organizations are helping their workers get back their sense of belonging. Though briefly threatened by COVID, team building, company culture, and even productivity can thrive in this in-office/hybrid/remote era.

Put inclusive leadership behaviors into practice

There’s no checklist or timeline to abide by when making the shift toward diversity and inclusiveness. Even small guided measures will demonstrate your company’s willingness to rise to the occasion for the future of work. 

When it comes to inclusive leadership development, stick to clear, authentic, and realistic goals. Attracting desired talent and attention, building trust, raising employee satisfaction, and reducing turnover will follow.

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