(702 words = 5.4-minute read)
# 1 – The ABC’s of Feeling the Way You Want to Feel – the experience of ‘overwhelm’ does not come from having too much to do but from how you think about everything you have to do!
# 2 – Leading Yourself – Bad habits and strong emotions often combine to keep you from focusing on how you can help your team become more successful. Lead yourself first!
# 3 – Self-awareness Leads to Self-management and Better Relationships – We are emotional beings. Manage your emotions so that you can focus on others.
Three New Ideas
In July, I want to discuss the leadership challenge of improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. DEI has been around for a long time, but since 2020, many companies have more aggressively attempted to improve DEI. It is difficult to improve, but great leaders know it is valuable!
# 1 – What is DEI & its benefits?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are principles and values that organizations use to meet the needs of people from all walks of life. DEI is much more than diversity training. Even though society at large does not always value DEI, we know organizations that work toward DEI can better respond to challenges, recruit & retain talent, and satisfy customers better.
McKinsey researched 366 public companies in several countries and across industries for several years. One of their findings caught my attention: “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”
Because there can be bias in our HR systems and processes, companies often attempt to improve minority hiring and promotions. Estee Lauder is one of those companies. In one year, they improved the hiring of Black candidates to 18.8% from 14.2% the year before. And they increased the number of promotions to the Director level. Additionally, they increased spending with Black-owned businesses by 50%.
Embracing DEI isn’t just the right thing to do morally; it also offers numerous benefits for organizations. More importantly, DEI has a societal benefit beyond the business case.
Ask Yourself: To fully understand how DEI can help, what resources could I study to learn what organizations are doing to maximize DEI?
# 2 – What is your responsibility?
Most people have some form of unconscious bias. To become aware of unconscious bias, you need experiences that create awareness. If, on the other hand, you are aware of your biases, you may benefit from seeing another perspective and learning how to shift your ‘truth.’
Extraordinary leaders will begin the DEI journey by focusing on themselves first. They must uncover their own biases and notice how they prevent them from embracing DEI. Through the process of reflection and observation, new ideas can be discovered. To create new results, we need to do things differently.
Additionally, great leaders will find ways to integrate DEI into discussions and decisions. DEI is not a program; it is a way of living that must be acted on every day for it to change the organization’s culture. Whenever a decision is made, a problem is solved, and a team is gathered, DEI could be a pathway to better results.
Ask Yourself: How could I improve my ability to live and lead DEI?
# 3 – How to affect your culture
As leaders, we must champion DEI efforts and foster a culture that celebrates our differences, empowers every individual, and cultivates a sense of belonging. Lead your organization to avoid quick fixes, i.e., provide mandatory diversity training. Meaningful change requires a long-term, data-informed approach.
Senior leaders must commit to providing adequate resources, internal expertise, and leadership over the long haul. Leaders must fully embrace DEI as a core value. Intentionally investing in mentoring and coaching may be a way for your organization to avoid the check-the-box syndrome normally associated with diversity training.
Additionally, you could: implement strategies to attract diverse talent, review hiring processes for biases, and ensure a diverse slate of candidates for every position. Assess organizational policies, practices, and systems to eliminate bias and foster equity, such as pay equity audits and flexible work arrangements.
Ask Yourself: How can I influence others to consider a long-term plan to improve DEI?
Want to Know More?
- What is diversity, equity, and inclusion? McKinsey & Company August 17, 2022
- 14 Tips for Implementing DEI Initiatives That Actually Succeed Forbes Sept. 8, 2021
- Why diversity matters McKinsey & Company January 1, 2015
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