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The Real Power of Inclusive Leadership

A leader’s worth is often valued by the culture they instil in their teams, and inclusivity is a big part of what drives good work culture these days.


CEO TODAY | July 9, 2019


CEO Today published article, " The Real Power of Inclusive Leadership," authored by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultants Sandra Schwarzer on how important an inclusive culture is and the real power it has behind driving a company. The article is excerpted below.


In recent years, a growing number of CEOs and other high-profile leaders have been ousted following allegations of sexual harassment, discriminatory language and other offences. Such accusations have affected many industries in the UK, including retail, technology, charity and even government agencies.

 

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One proactive way boards and top executives can mitigate the risk of bad behaviour is to foster inclusive leadership, both amongst themselves and across the organisation. In practical terms, Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) defines inclusive leadership around four key competencies: raising awareness of differences, creating accountability for change, empowering others and fostering innovative collaboration within diverse groups.


These competencies create a benchmark for hiring decisions, as well as a framework for training and coaching. For many executives, leading inclusively means moving beyond their comfort zones to surface differences within a group of employees and then using empathy and creativity to make those differences a source of strategic advantage rather than conflict.

 

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Inclusive leadership is powerful. It significantly affects how employees feel about work, improving outcomes including job satisfaction, loyalty and sense of belonging.

 

Inclusive leadership is powerful. It significantly affects how employees feel about work, improving outcomes including job satisfaction, loyalty and sense of belonging. RRA’s recent Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Pulse survey of more than 1,800 leaders worldwide found that the majority (93%) of executives whose leaders exhibited inclusive behaviours wanted to remain with their organisations, compared with just 25% of executives whose leaders did not exhibit inclusive behaviours. However, few organisations are currently measuring, recognising, developing or rewarding inclusive leadership. Just 40% of executives believe their leadership is held accountable for fostering an inclusive culture; even fewer—35%—said inclusive behaviour is a part of promotion criteria for leaders.

To read the full article, click here.

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The Real Power of Inclusive Leadership