Recently I had an interesting conversation with a friend who asked me why diversity is important. My friend, a senior leader in her organization, and I were having lunch. So, I know you are wondering how and why did this topic come up in conversation, right?
Well, as our small talk progressed, I could tell she had something on her mind. So, I asked her what was going on.
After a deep breath, she explained she was nervous because she wanted to ask me a question, but she wasn’t sure if I would be offended. Well, I smiled and assured her it would be okay.
She took a deep breath and said, “why is diversity important?’ My friend explained she was struggling to explain the “why” behind diversity to her department. As I studied her body language and listened to her, I could tell her goal was to understand.
When she finished, I smiled and thanked her for asking her question. Why did I thank her? Because she trusted me to help her. Over the next 30 minutes, we discussed how diversity strengthens the organization and the leader.
“In diversity, there is beauty and strength.”
– Maya Angelo
The more a leader diversifies, the more united we become. A leader unifies all the diverse aspects of their life like a weaver weaves a rug. They become more inclusive.
A leader’s world widens as they encompass greater knowledge of different perspectives. They learn to respect other peoples’ views and listen to what motivates their behavior.
Just as a university brings diverse subjects and fields under a unified umbrella of study, leaders start to weave the threads of unity into a greater whole world view.
Leaders become empathetic toward all cultures, gain a greater understanding of all races, and respect all religions.
When you delve into the study of philosophies and arts, you become a collector of diverse ideas. You cull the depths of books to see the unified thread throughout all of humanity; we all want to live and take care of our families.
Leaders realize that all people are their brothers and sisters around the globe. They investigate the stories of the past and see the application to our time now. They study ways to unify diversity while honoring all the stories.
As we began to wrap up our conversation, my friend asked what steps leaders should take to unify diversity in their organization? I gave her three, which apply to all leaders.
To unify diversity in their organization, leaders must:
- Do their part.
- Know the role they want to play.
- Have a vision of a better world and a mission to make it so.
When Leaders research diverse thoughts and cultures, they enrich their lives. They become more whole and more unified. They have a greater understanding and are a more compassionate person.
Today more than ever a leader’s compassion should extend to everyone. Their world is diverse. A leader’s world is one.
Are you becoming unified in diversity?
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