Daring Inclusive Leadership

I’ve heard it said that diversity is being invited to the party whereas inclusion is being asked to dance. If there was ever a time we needed to be more inclusive in our nation, it is now.


When it comes to matters of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging, I believe diversity is about representation, belonging is about feeling valued and accepted as your full, authentic self, inclusion is about having a voice and vote when it comes to decision-making and equity is about experiencing whatever you need to prosper and reach your full potential. Equity is about the societal systems and structures that are designed by people in power to routinely produce equitable opportunities and outcomes for ALL people.



When it comes to being an inclusive leader, I believe it starts with one’s character followed by competence. Inclusive leadership is first a matter of one’s heart (or character) before it becomes a matter of one’s head (competence) and hands (actions).


According to research, there are 6 character traits/behaviors that are seen in inclusive leaders. The good news is these traits or behaviors can be developed and strengthened over time. Once a leader becomes more aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses, he/she can begin taking steps to develop their character to become an inclusive leader worth following.


Recommended Resources on Inclusive Leadership


In an effort to help you become a more inclusive leader, check out these videos, articles, and assessments below. I hope you will do the work of getting into ‘good trouble’ and ‘necessary trouble’ as the late John Lewis taught us and showed us through his life.


And I hope you will lean into this work of becoming an inclusive leader by choosing courage over discomfort. And I hope you’ll lead with conviction and practice compassion and curiosity toward yourself and others while being the change you want to see–because “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” (Dr. Seuss)


6 Inclusive Leadership Traits

360 Inclusive leadership compass

Harvard Implicit Bias Test

Brene Brown’s Daring Leadership Assessment

Jennifer Brown’s Inclusive Leadership Assessment

Brene Brown’s book Dare to Lead

Inclusive leadership

Talking about Inclusion

Be the Bridge

Cultural Humility

Purl Pixar SparkShorts



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