What Makes a Leader Inclusive?

At Intend2Lead, we believe that amazing things are possible when we uncover and leverage the unique gifts, talents and skills of each individual. This is not just an aspirational idea. It’s a business imperative.

Demographics in the workplace are shifting dramatically. The workforce now includes five different generations (i.e., traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X, Generation Y/millennials, and Generation Z). The racial and ethnic makeup of the world is also changing, as minorities become the majority in the United States. There is so much potential available to us in the accounting profession, but we can’t tap into it until we truly embrace diversity, equity and inclusion for all.

As a profession that has been historically dominated by white people – white men, in particular, considering even today, women represent only 23% of partners in CPA firms according to the AICPA – we still have a long road ahead of us.

We must create new business models that support the uniqueness of our next generation of leaders and allow them to contribute to organizational success in different ways. We must become and cultivate more inclusive leaders.

Inclusive Leaders:

  • Prioritize DEI and embed it into everything we do. We continually challenge the status quo.
  • Are humble and vulnerable. We acknowledge and take responsibility for our own biases and those embedded within organizational systems.
  • Hold a deep belief in the talents and resourcefulness of all people. We value and respect each individual for who they are and commit to helping people unlock their unique potential.
  • Embrace a growth mindset. We commit to lifelong learning and understand that progress requires discomfort. We take risks, make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Hold a genuine curiosity about others. We seek to understand others’ perspectives with an open mind, listen without judgment and empathize with others.

What could be possible for you, your organization and the accounting profession when you commit to more inclusive leadership?


About the Author: 

Sarah Elliott, CPA, PCC is the co-founder and principal of Intend2Lead, a leadership development company that coaches CPAs to access the Dimension of Possibility through leadership coaching, group learning and consulting with organizations to create coaching cultures.

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