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Women in Leadership (88)

Embracing the Power of One: Inclusion and Collective Intelligence

A national narrative is rapidly coalescing regarding the critical need for unification—a chorus of demand for leaders who can bring others together and create a sense of inclusion, trust, and belonging within our organizations, institutions, and communities. In my last blog, I talked about the new ROI for inclusion and belongingness, which I’ve termed the “Power of One.” There, I shared some facts that reveal how the high level of disruptive change in our organizations today is finally leading to the emergence of a new culture, where traditionally silent individuals and groups are starting to use their voices. As we embark on the New Year, I again challenge leaders to ask themselves: how can we be the voice of change and demonstrate inclusive leadership that unifies and harnesses the collective intelligence of all, while also holding others accountable to do the same?

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How to Change Organizational Mindset Via the “Power of One”

There’s a new ROI for inclusion and belongingness, which I’ve termed the “Power of One.” In my last post, I shared some facts that reveal the high level of disruptive change in our organizations today is finally leading to the emergence of a new culture, where traditionally silent individuals and groups are starting to use their voices. With the balance shifting from polarization to integration in some companies, I again challenge leaders to ask themselves: how can we expect support for gender balance and diversity across our organizations if employees lack a basic sense of common purpose and connectedness? SHAMBAUGH has identified several strategies that point to what needs to happen to change the organizational conversation and mindset, which I’ll be sharing with you over the next few posts. Let’s begin with the first two strategies:

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A New ROI for Inclusion: Collective Intelligence and the “Power of One”

Our world, society, the business community, and human beings are currently experiencing an incredible wave of change. Forces are coming from all directions causing major head winds, uncertainty, and new complexities the likes of which we have never before experienced. As I wrote this sweeping open statement, it occurred to me that the narrative sounds similar to a keynote speech on change that I delivered over a decade ago. Yet while the language may sound familiar, the current situation is much different. Consider these two facts:

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What Buzz Are You Creating? Mastering Your Personal Brand

Picture yourself in a meeting with one other person you have never met before. You were each selected from different offices and departments to co-chair a committee at your company. After an hour of intense dialogue with this “new to you” colleague, you each return to your respective locations. Eager to share the experience of the meeting with you, your co-chair takes a moment to talk about you with two of your mutual colleagues. How do you think your new co-chair would describe you in three to five adjectives? Would the first thing that comes to your co-chair’s mind be your strategic thinking ability, your easy collaboration style, being knowledgeable about building high-performance teams, or…?

There is no right or wrong answer to this exercise, but ask yourself this: is the impression I am creating with my daily interactions the one I want to create? It’s important to think about this carefully since each day and with every interaction, you are either intentionally or inadvertently sowing the seeds for a trickle-down “buzz” about you that in essence becomes your personal brand. These conversations about you happen in all kinds of key forums that can influence your career success, from executive conversations and talent reviews to presentations, job interviews, speaking engagements, panels, emails, and social media. That’s a lot of potential influence, so you don’t want to leave it to chance.

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