One way to judge a leader is to take a cursory look at members of their team. Some leaders are more comfortable in appointing their family members, friends, ethnic affinities or those they share consanguinity with. They will rather not invite other individuals whom they don’t know their background or without proper referrals to their circle of influence irrespective of their talents and capabilities. When they appoint such persons at all, they use them to achieve their aims and move on without their affirmation or reward for their efforts.
Take a close look at your leadership team and find out the diversity score around your immediate influence. Is it high or very low? Are your second level leaders your friends, family members or associates? How did you select your team? Was it based on loyalty, competence or capacity to deliver results?
A leader is a leader of all; whether male or female, white or colored, young or old endowed or otherwise. The inclusive leader is one who works with all persons despite their background, creed, social status, race, age, etc. and treats them all equally and fairly. They ensure all team members get what’s their due and do not treat some with unequal attitudes.
Leadership teams are becoming more cosmopolitan. The composition of teams is changing and professions where a particular ethnic group dominated in the past are now being explored by different ethnic groups. Whether in the workplace, churches or mosque, social gatherings or schools, there are no more single descriptive denominators. Groups are becoming more diverse by the day.
Consequently, a leader must bury primordial beliefs, biases, preferences or teachings as these are no longer feasible in a diverse and changing world where the choices of team members is no longer dependent on tribe or colour but on talent and capacity to deliver results. There are no more same markets, employees, skills, values, talents, perspectives, religions or creeds. Everything is different and diversity adaptation is the key to surviving the challenges of today and tomorrow.