Inclusive Leadership can seem like a lofty goal to many. The term itself refers to the art of leading by inclusion. Yet, many of us still need clarification on how to master the skill consistently—coming to grips with the fact that the inclusive leadership journey is an intricate tango of wins and stumbles. Gartner’s Future of Work Trends for 2023 report says leaders must prioritize human leadership. So, as we close out 2022, let’s consider what it takes to recommit to sustainable, Inclusive Leadership progress; a necessary goal to create a thriving workplace with employees who feel safe to engage and contribute.
PATIENT AND EDUCATED
Cultural priority shifts are occurring more regularly, making it difficult for leaders to stay ahead of the curve. As such, those wanting to show up and lead inclusively must start by being patient with themselves on the learning curve. Consider the complexity involved in solving the Rubix cube challenge. Who amongst us still needs help here? The point is inclusive leadership can be just as complex. Let’s recall the efforts and prioritization around Juneteenth. It was a prime example where many scrambled to gain knowledge and move forward with recognizing the holiday and celebration techniques. According to a Gallup survey conducted this past summer, only 42% of people had some knowledge about Juneteenth. It is not far-fetched to assume that inclusive leaders are amongst the population who remain fuzzy on Juneteenth. So, in preparation for 2023, let’s fully engage and embrace various cultures over the coming year. Doing so will fuel up your inclusive leadership nutrients.
FUTURISTIC AND PROGRESSIVE
Spending time understanding the trends and evolving needs that affect inclusion is prudent. Though competing projects can lower the priority, it is necessary to get a pulse on the future to prepare accordingly. Pew Research measures the understanding and expectations around the hot topic of slavery reparations. The study shows a great divide in expectations between Black and White Americans. Look around your workplace. There will be, in due course, a conversation shift and requirement for the workplace to come up with amendment plans. Inclusive Leaders can get ahead of the curve by becoming more informed, thinking through, and implementing creative solutions. Why not start now? Consider other hot topics that traditionally are left out of the workplace but will need attention and ultimately impact the workplace.
FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE
As the world and the workplace recognize and acknowledge different cultures, so must the inclusive leader. One way to win this area is to expand flexibility in the workplace further. To do so requires the influence of organizational support for revising the recommended standard paid holidays. The current times need more than flexible holiday accommodations to create a genuinely inclusive environment. Kwanzaa, for example, originated in the 1960s yet has struggled to gain prominence in the workplace. Kwanzaa runs from December 26th to January 1st. By being flexible and adaptable, organizations can lead the way by adopting black history celebrations all year long, including a commitment to observe Kwanzaa.