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CEOs often sabotage inclusive cultures.other than this

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Workplace diversity has risen to the top of board and CEO agendas. Executives in every industry have diligently studied McKinsey reports on this topic and articles in Harvard his business his review, and the evidence is clear. Diversity is important. It has many powerful economic advantages, such as winning battles over talent, pitching more ideas in innovation brainstorming sessions, and better serving customers with a wide range of tastes and expectations. produces

But most companies, by their own admission, are not taking full advantage of the diverse talent base they’ve spent years recruiting and developing. It’s not because you don’t try hard enough. In fact, they work hard to identify, promote and develop diverse talent for key positions throughout the company. So why are they failing? Simple. Because they haven’t created an inclusive culture or a safe haven for talent to thrive.

And here’s where it gets interesting. CEOs openly acknowledge, but rarely acknowledge, their full commitment to inclusion and their willingness to invest corporate resources and personal time to create a more supportive culture (or maybe you just haven’t noticed). Personally responsible for their company’s lack of inclusiveness.

In any organization, culture begins at the top of the house. The employee observes his CEO’s actions and listens carefully to his words. Most people pay attention to the CEO’s body and her language as well. In essence, top leaders cast a long shadow over the company’s culture through their words, actions, actions, and actions. There is often a gap between the actions of

An inclusive culture requires a CEO dedicated to building self-awareness. This includes considering how you are perceived by others and reflecting on your own hidden baggage and prejudices. Most people don’t realize that the road to the top included many breaks that others in the organization, especially minorities, simply didn’t have. He seems to be fixated on myths, believing that his rise to the top is due to his own hard work and intelligence, and disregards things like privilege and luck. Because they are already in positions of power, they have little clear incentive to think differently, other than the unintended consequence of destroying their ability to create an inclusive culture.

An inclusive culture also requires a highly empathetic CEO. That is, the ability to understand what other people are thinking and, more importantly, what they are feeling in different settings and situations. Inclusive CEOs have a deep understanding of their strengths, style, and weaknesses. This is what makes all great leaders accessible, which allows them to build strong bonds with others.

This is the conclusion. The overwhelming majority of Corporate America’s CEOs are white, middle-aged, privileged, heterosexual, and well-educated at top universities and boarding schools. They had many “lucky breaks” that others didn’t enjoy. Most CEOs in Corporate America may not be cut from the exact same fabric, but the fabric looks and feels similar. Without hard work and self-examination, there is no way these CEOs can truly empathize with a diverse workforce. As such, they lack the opportunity to build the inclusive culture needed to support a diverse talent base.

It takes a lot of hard work: intensive coaching, 360-degree feedback, and even psychotherapy. Thankfully, some CEOs are up to the challenge and working hard. Bryan Leach, founder and CEO of a unicorn called Ibotta, rejects the Algerian idea that his personal success is a direct result of his personal talent and tenacity. After years of therapy, Leach openly admitted that not only his efforts, but luck, privilege, timing, and other things far beyond his control contributed greatly to his success. I’m here.

Leach believes acknowledging this, rather than making it a sign of weakness, makes him a more approachable and authentic leader and sets a corner office precedent for others across the organization to emulate. A critical first step in building an inclusive culture is a CEO committed to the (sometimes long and difficult) journey towards greater self-awareness.

The opinions expressed herein by Inc.com columnists are their own and not those of Inc.com.