Intention can be the greatest motivation to start a new initiative and achieve a goal. But sometimes plans fail to reach implementation because of misguided actions or lack of intentionality. The work of inclusion is an initiative that doesn’t always happen organically, but requires intention.
As leaders, we all are seeking positive outcomes. We hope for positive results to drive us toward a purpose. If we coach leaders to be intentional in their pursuits, it will create a dramatic change. One of the best ways leaders can create an impact is by committing to a lifestyle that values and leverages human differences. Imagine what the world would be like if we all were intentional in our pursuit of inclusion. Diversity and inclusion are vital assets to the performance of organizations and communities.
What if instead of seeing the work of inclusion as the responsibility of the individuals who carry the title, or the big corporations with social responsibility goals, we each start a movement whereby people embrace the process of becoming an Intentional Inclusionist™? What if we model the inclusion we wish to see. Then, what would happen?
Promoting diversity and inclusion is more than just a social responsibility. It gives all of us opportunities to grow and learn from each other. However, embracing inclusion is not always easy for people. As leaders, we must hold ourselves accountable to create the inclusion we wish to see. Diverse views allow us to make better decisions. I believe that commitment and practice from everyone in becoming an Intentional Inclusionist™ is a solution to address racism, discrimination, and marginalization. And, equally importantly to thrive as a business community whereby all people can prosper.
If you are a person who wants to develop as a leader with inclusive values, I’d like to invite you to get a copy of my recently published book, The Intentional Inclusionist™. This book is for leaders who want to grow as inclusion-minded individuals and exercise their leadership to enhance the workplace, build communities, and have a positive impact on other circles of influence to which they belong. To be an Intentional Inclusionist™ is to be motivated by the power of intentionality and to be proactive in leveraging opportunities to engage people in achieving their full potential. This book, inspired by philosophies of leadership and inclusion, contains principles to help individuals become more intentional in how diversity and inclusion are understood and practiced at the individual level. No matter what your role—executive, manager, business owner, or someone interested in seeing our world improve—you have the power to drive change. It starts with each of us committing our lives to the work of inclusion. We must believe that our collective effort, one person at a time, one story at a time, can change the way the entire world looks at human differences. Please join the movement and model the inclusion you’d like to see by considering the below attributes of an Intentional Inclusionist™.
· Treat inclusion as a function of leadership.
· Be driven by values and a sense of fairness.
· Possess a strong sense of personal responsibility for change.
· Be open-minded and have a passion for learning about human difference.
· Engage in respectful questioning.
· Recognize that diversity in thinking is critical to effective collaboration.
· Encourage others to challenge existing practices that may unintentionally exclude.
· Lead by influence, not by authority.
· Empower others to grow by inspiring them to solve problems and come up with new ideas.
· Focus on results while holding others accountable for the performance they can control.
· Be courageous; stand up for what you believe in when you know it is right.
· Practice humility; admit mistakes and ask for feedback.
· Be proactive in finding ways to create a safe space for all in your sphere of influence to contribute and feel valued.