The Double-Edged Sword of Inclusive Leadership

According to the National Urban Fellows, “Inclusive leadership is the practice of leadership that carefully includes the contributions of all stakeholders in the community or organization. Inclusion means being at the table at all levels of the organization, being a valued contributor and being fully responsible for your contribution to the ultimate result. Inclusive leadership creates an organizational culture that consistently produces results that benefit all of those stakeholders.”

Why It Works

1.     This leadership style encourages innovation and progress from team members, thus bringing in new, progressive ideas into the organization.

2.     It helps people feel more connected and valued within the organization and in turn, reduces employee turnover.

3.     It increases productivity because team members take pride and ownership in their work, and don’t want to let the team down.

Why It Doesn’t Work

1.     Inclusive leadership doesn’t mean consensus. Expecting everyone to agree can be a fatal mistake.

2.     Often, inclusive leaders want to be liked, and are hesitant to make unpopular decisions.

3.     And, they are also often slow to make decisions at all, which can be detrimental in many deadline-driven fields.

The most common mistake of inclusive leaders? They need everyone’s approval, instead of hearing everyone’s input. True inclusive leaders take the opinions, recommendations and expertise of their team and makes the best decision for the project, the team AND the organization.