Where to Start Your Organization’s DEI Work

For organizations, committing to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) means playing the long game. It’s not enough to sponsor ad hoc initiatives—Band-Aids like new mentorship programs whenever issues arise; organizations must reframe DEI in the same way they have had to reframe their digital transformations. What used to be a nice-to-have has become a must-have for future sustainability.

But where do you start your DEI work? DEI is first and foremost an outcome of personal development work and strategic decision making at scale, supported over a prolonged period of time. This, unfortunately, is where we see a disconnect in most organizations.

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Emotional Intelligence: The #1 Skill Needed by Leaders

Now more than ever, emotional intelligence is the most important skill a leader can learn. And yes, anyone can learn how to be more emotionally intelligent. People call emotional intelligence a soft skill, but we consider it an essential skill.

The so-called soft skills are the prime differentiator between great leaders and mediocre ones in the coming years. Senior leaders are aware of this, and they lament the lack of proficiency they see in candidates. In a recent LinkedIn study, 89% of executives reported that it’s difficult to find people with soft skills. And virtually every soft skill—from conflict management to teamwork, communication skills to problem solving—is related to emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of, manage and express one’s own emotions. It’s also the ability to handle interpersonal relationships with wisdom and empathy. There are four aspects of emotional intelligence, also known as EQ. They are: self-awareness, self-management, other/social awareness, and relationship management.

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DEI Band-Aid: How to Avoid it

Making swift progress to achieve greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is not a feel-good campaign—it’s hard, necessary work. I worry that some leaders consider DEI to be just another type of management fad, a Band-Aid,  popular today but like most trends, one that won’t last. If I drag my feet long enough and/or throw some money at it in the form of a few initiatives, we’ll be all set until the next big thing rolls around, right?

Wrong! DEI isn’t about pursuing initiatives for the sake of appeasing stakeholders or appearing more virtuous to your customers. Becoming an inclusive organization doesn’t happen just because you say you are one or even because inclusivity is one of your core values. Inclusivity manifests when it becomes part of leaders’ and organizations’ entire approach to the way they run their businesses. In other words, it’s an outcome, not an initiative.

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How to Build & Show Resilience as a Leader

Leaders don’t need to be resilient only in times of crisis; they need this every day. Consider that most of us experience disappointment and suffer failures every single day, in addition to coping with the history-making and world shaping events going on around us. For example, when:

  • The traffic light that turns yellow just as you approach it and you are already late for an appointment
  • Or the store doesn’t have an item in your size.
  • Or when you forget to hit “send” on that email and miss a deadline.

These are minor hiccups in the grand scheme of things. What leaders (and their team members) can often do better is apply the same coping skills we use to deal with the little things to bigger disappointments and failures.

You can begin to do this by noticing first what exactly you are thinking about a big disappointment and then redirecting those thoughts toward a growth mindset and productive actions.

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Learn Lead Lift Ep 8: Managing Cultural Barriers Externally

Subscribe to our new Flash Briefings for short, informed, and actionable business tidbits several times a week. Learn, Lead, Lift, where you can think, act, and inspire your way to greatness.

Instructions to get the Alexa app:

Download the Alexa / Open the Alexa app .
Go to the settings menu
Select Settings.
Select Flash Briefing.
Select Learn Lead Lift to add to your Flash Briefing.

To change the order of your selected news programs, select Edit.

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Learn Lead Lift Ep 7: Leading Through VUCA Change

Subscribe to our new Flash Briefings for short, informed, and actionable business tidbits several times a week. Learn, Lead, Lift, where you can think, act, and inspire your way to greatness.

Instructions to get the Alexa app:

Download the Alexa / Open the Alexa app .
Go to the settings menu
Select Settings.
Select Flash Briefing.
Select Learn Lead Lift to add to your Flash Briefing.

To change the order of your selected news programs, select Edit.

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Learn Lead Lift Ep 6: People First Mindset

Subscribe to our new Flash Briefings for short, informed, and actionable business tidbits several times a week. Learn, Lead, Lift, where you can think, act, and inspire your way to greatness.

Instructions to get the Alexa app:

Download the Alexa / Open the Alexa app .
Go to the settings menu
Select Settings.
Select Flash Briefing.
Select Learn Lead Lift to add to your Flash Briefing.

To change the order of your selected news programs, select Edit.

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Learn Lead Lift Ep 5: What Inclusive Culture Looks Like Inside the Organization

Subscribe to our new Flash Briefings for short, informed, and actionable business tidbits several times a week. Learn, Lead, Lift, where you can think, act, and inspire your way to greatness.

Instructions to get the Alexa app:

Download the Alexa / Open the Alexa app .
Go to the settings menu
Select Settings.
Select Flash Briefing.
Select Learn Lead Lift to add to your Flash Briefing.

To change the order of your selected news programs, select Edit.

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Learn Lead Lift Ep 4: Your Leadership Mindset

Subscribe to our new Flash Briefings for short, informed, and actionable business tidbits several times a week. Learn, Lead, Lift, where you can think, act, and inspire your way to greatness.

Instructions to get the Alexa app:

Download the Alexa / Open the Alexa app .
Go to the settings menu
Select Settings.
Select Flash Briefing.
Select Learn Lead Lift to add to your Flash Briefing.

To change the order of your selected news programs, select Edit.

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Learn Lead Lift Ep 3: Systems Thinking

Subscribe to our new Flash Briefings for short, informed, and actionable business tidbits several times a week. Learn, Lead, Lift, where you can think, act, and inspire your way to greatness.

Instructions to get the Alexa app:

Download the Alexa / Open the Alexa app .
Go to the settings menu
Select Settings.
Select Flash Briefing.
Select Learn Lead Lift to add to your Flash Briefing.

To change the order of your selected news programs, select Edit.

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