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Inclusive Leadership

Key Idea

The promise of diversity is birthing a new type of leader: the inclusive leader. The inclusive leader draws on the distinct of forms of leadership that have emerged from historical and contemporary social change movements (including the civil rights and women’s movements), with an emphasis on community values and universal kinship, overcoming social and economic injustice, and a shared, distributive leadership process.

Book to Read

Salsa, Soul and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age 
by Juana Maria Bordas (2007)

Quick Take from the Book

The inclusive leader embodies seven leadership principles:

  1. Learn from the past (draw on the wisdom of your culture and heritage).
  2. Embrace a “We” frame of reference (resist the “every-man-for-himself” myth).
  3. Generosity over materialism (emphasize collective sustainability over individual gain).
  4. Follow the principle of “One Among the Many” (leadership is conferred by the people in the community).
  5. Inspire the spirit of community values (courageously reminding the community of what binds them together).
  6. Generate a shared vision (always listening, striving to build a consensus).
  7. Recognize that relationships carry a responsibility (we are our brother’s keeper).

Quote of Note

"Seeing people as relatives, as members of one big family, as one’s community or village, presents a different model of how leaders relate to their followers. As noted, leaders do not promote their own agenda or self-interest. Leadership is social responsibility and working for community advancement – a commitment to serve the collective We. A leader who is one among equals mentors and grooms people and creates a community of leaders. These roles are easier to understand when noting that leadership in communities of color is not a position or a passing stage, it is a lifelong commitment to remain as part of and to serve one’s community." — Juana Maria Bordas 

Related Styles: Tribal Leadership

Return to List of Leadership Styles