The very fist thing I learned in my military leadership training is that leaders lead by example. That is we don’t ask things of subordinates, that we as leaders have not done, are incapable of, or unwilling to do ourselves if need be.
So if corporate leaders want employees to care about the corporate narrative, then they must lead by example and show they care about their employees’ narratives. All of their employees. Not just the ones who believe what they believe, want what they want, or know what they know, or look like they do.
As leaders we must understand that people are different, and have different life experiences, those experiences form narratives, and narratives form behaviors.
Empathy calls on us to acknowledge when someone acts in a way that’s inconsistent with what we believe that person is not wrong. They’re right because they’re acting in a way consistent with their life experience, with their narrative.
Honesty compels us to admit that if we grew up the way they grew up, seen what they had seen, and been treated the way they were treated…we would probably be just like them.
Humility demands that we see people and believe the best about them, connect with them, open doors 4 them, and hold them to the standards they promise.
The best leaders know regardless of who you are, who you love, what color or orientation you are you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. And they use diversity, equity, and inclusion as a competitive advantage.
Jesus put it this way. “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”
Finally as Rod Tidwell said “Show me the money.” The number one thing any employer can do to prove their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is to make payroll transparent, and public. We can tell where your heart is by where your money is.