The importance of courage in being an inclusive leader

Very often when I am providing clients training in being effective diversity council or employee resource groups leaders, I include the Deloitte model of the 6 attributes of being an inclusive leader. The six are: Commitment, Courage, Cognizance, Curiosity, Cultural Intelligence and Cooperation. One of the six that leaders often find most challenging is courage. In a recent training with a client, 8 of the 14 participants, over half, shared that they found courage the most challenging of the six attributes. In fact, for two other recent clients, courage was either the most or second most challenging

A guest blog I published in 2018, written by Dr. Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, the National Diversity Council’s Senior VP of Strategy and Research, highlighted the importance of courage in diversity leadership. In “Leaders Must Exercise Courage to Lead Inclusively,” Cecilia provided several examples of courageous corporate leadership around pressing diversity issues in our country.

I have now developed a short training module on being a courageous inclusive leader. Some main points from this session:

What is courageous leadership? Courage is a powerful word – its Latin origin is “cor,” meaning heart. Courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. A leader is someone who has commanding authority or influence and can motivate a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal.

So putting the two together: a great courageous leader is someone who has influence and can effectively motivate a group to act towards achieving a common goal because they have the mental and moral strength and will persevere and withstand danger despite their fears and the difficulty of the challenge. (source: “What’s Courage Have to Do With Leadership” – THRIVE by Dagmar Meachem.

One element of courage is being brave and breaking new ground

Two elements of Courage. From the Deloitte inclusive leadership model, two elements of inclusive courage include:
• Humility – being aware of your own personal strengths and weaknesses. That includes seeking the contributions of others – not going it alone.
• Bravery – being an agent for change and the positive impact diversity and inclusion can have. And that includes challenging organizational attitudes and practices that promote homogeneity.

Eight ways to develop courageous leadership. You should read the article from Socoal yourself to see all eight and to do your own self-assessment, but they include having the courage to seek feedback, having the courage to innovate, being able to admit mistakes, letting go of “precious practices” and being able to engage in “difficult conversations.”

Please do be in touch if I can provide a workshop on this great topic for your organization!

Happy New Year! My Top 7 blogs of 2021

This is now one of my blog traditions! Every year for the past several around New Year’s, I share my top 7 most read blogs of the year. It is really fun to go back and pull my website stats to see what people read the most. And for the first time ever, all of the top blogs were published before this year, and people found them via google search.

Quick stats about his year’s list:
• Five of the 7 dealt with some general aspect of diversity
• Two of the 7 dealt with diversity within sports
• For four of the 7, I had a collaborator assisting me with the content

Here are the seven most read of 2021, starting with number 7 and working up to number one. At the bottom I will give an honorable mention to the top blog published in 2021

7) This year’s number 7 was written in 2019 – a book review titled A new fantastic book in inclusive leadership: “How to be an Inclusive Leader” by Jennifer Brown. I often use industry leading consultant Jennifer Brown’s material when I teach about inclusive leadership.

6) A guest blog written in 2018 by my cousin Brandon, who has a masters degree in social work and now works in the Federal Prison System – Five Misconceptions about Atheists from my Experience: A guest blog by Brandon Garrick.

5) “Five Things Never to Say to Hispanic People” is a companion piece to this year’s number one blog, guest written by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado. It probably hit the top 7 list for the first time since people could link to it from the top blog.

4) My fourth most popular blog was also 2019’s number 4, but it did not make the list last year – “Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity and Sports,” in which I provide short summaries with links about an NFL football player with one hand, an WNBA player who is a new mother with her wife, and a college track star who overcame a harsh abusive upbringing in Africa.

3) I received excellent assistance from local activist and Muslim woman Zainab Baloch for the third most read blog (with over 2,000 hits) and published in 2018, “Five Things To Never Say To a Muslim.”

2) Last year’s number one is now number 2. With over 4,500 hits across the two blogs were 2018’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.” With 2022 being an Oympic year, I plan to write my third installment of this series in January.

1) With the growing number and visibility of Hispanic Americans, Number 2 for the previous three years now made it to number 1 in 2021 with over 6,500 hits! “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

Since none of the few dozen blogs I wrote in 2021 made it into the top seven, I will give honorable mention to the top 2021-written blog, a book review – A Diversity Book Truly for EVERYONE – “Empowering Differences” by Ashley T. Brundage.

I wish all of my faithful readers a happy and hopefully COVID-free 2022.

To stay in touch and to receive my monthly newsletter in which I summarize all blogs written in the previous month, please do subscribe to my newsletter. Or check out this page to connect to my business Facebook page or LinkedIn.