In today’s business world, diverse leadership and inclusivity have taken center stage, and the concept of leadership has also undergone a transformation.
Embracing the power of diversity in leadership has become more than just a buzzword.
It is now fundamental to driving innovation, fostering creativity, and achieving sustainable success.
Diversity helps us grow
Explore the profound impact of diverse leadership, celebrate the strength that comes from varied perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences, and highlight the transformative potential of inclusive leadership.
If you’re of working age, you’ve had one or more horrible bosses at some point in your life.
A commonality among many of those employers is that they lack emotional intelligence and thus harbor the inability to look at employees from the perspective of “What can I do to help this person grow?
How can I ensure they succeed and are happy at my company?”
A savvy business owner knows that two things are more central to their success than anything else: customers and employees.
The Importance of Diverse Leadership
It’s the customer who chooses to buy their product or service, and it’s the employee who acts as the liaison.
They are the frontman.
The bridge to the customer’s positive or negative experience.
Bad leadership fails to recognize this and often neglects these keys to success.
The leader with the heart to serve is the leader who interacts with all levels of employees and isn’t afraid to ask what they can do to make things better.
A leader with the heart to serve is a leader who asks what they can do for others and not what others can do for them.
They don’t see themselves as superior, and they value every member of their team and everything they do for the good of their customers and employees.
Bare Escentuals’ Leslie Blodgett
The former CEO and now executive chairman of beauty giant Bare Escentuals, Leslie Blodgett, is an awesome example of a leader with a serving heart.
For years, she’s regularly engaged with her customers and employees.
She’s been known to visit her stores all over the country, but what’s more inspiring is that she’s never been afraid to get behind the counter or help out a customer with a consultation herself.
Leslie is a prime model of excellence in leading positively and effectively.
From the get-go, Leslie has encouraged employees to approach everything with a heart that is eager to please and serve.
Bareminerals takes things a step further with their idea of the “girlfriend experience,” where boutique employees are encouraged to grow meaningful and deep relationships with every woman that sits in their chair.
They look at them and treat them as if they were a best friend.
They listen to their customer’s stories.
Their joy, their excitement, their woes.
That’s the Girlfriend Experience, and it’s a beautiful idea of the bond between customer and employee.
Thanks to their emphasis on the importance of relationships, they retain many loyal (even fanatical) customers who return repeatedly.
Few cosmetic brands and stores can do that.
Leslie’s business model is successful because it is people-centered and focuses on the question, “What can I do for someone else?”
There are many women whose lives have been touched by their experiences with the boutiques, and they are worth more than millions of dollars in advertisements.
Siebert Brandford Shank & Co.’s Suzanne Shank
Co-owner and founder of finance firm Siebert Brandford Shank & Co.,
Suzanne Shank is an extraordinary woman of note.
More than 850 billion in municipal financing has been managed under her leadership.
She’s been featured in Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Black Enterprise, and more for her amazing ability to lead and give back to the community.
Suzanne helped to co-found a summer internship program called the Detroit Summer Finance Institute for high school students who want to succeed in finance.
The program is focused on inner-city students, helping to expose them to municipal finance jobs.
She’s passionate about helping to create new opportunities for these children because she didn’t have a solid direction to go when she was young.
She started as a woman in STEM but soon learned that she wasn’t very passionate about engineering (which she went to school for).
Suzanne applied her STEM knowledge to her business model and is widely considered an industry guru and success.
She is an inspiration to women in the finance industry.
Why Women In Business Are the Driving Force Behind This Concept
We thrive on the community as a species, and companies that understand this utilize female leadership.
According to an infographic by Washington State University, women in leadership roles tend to have awesome people development skills, are great at communication, and utilize participatory decision-making.
Of course, there are men out there who possess these specific qualities as well.
Likewise, some women possess none of them.
Either way, those skills are essential to any business and come with being a leader with the heart to serve.
This is certainly not to say that men can’t be good leaders.
Studies prove that businesses benefit from involving both sexes.
It showed that gender-diverse retail companies ‘ average revenue is 14% more profitable than those who aren’t.
That’s a significant enough statistic to ignore if you’re a business owner and want to improve sales.
With the growing number of women in leadership positions, we’re seeing major shifts in management style away from the Machiavellian “my way or the highway” to “let’s figure out how to meet in the middle.”
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo (and a mother herself), perfectly embodied this by giving female employees longer paid maternity leave.
Male employees also received longer paternity leave.
This wasn’t a move focused solely on company profits but on the well-being of the mothers and fathers-to-be.
We can all benefit from diverse leadership
Leslie Blodgett and Marissa Mayer are two examples of a growing list of women making strides in the business community.
We’ve passed an exciting milestone as a society.
Because of that, we should prepare to witness innovation and social movements on a massive scale.
Gender diversity is key to creating a positive future and healthy economy, so businesses must step up their game.
How has diverse leadership affected you in the workplace?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.