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Inclusive Leaders Make People Feel Valued

Leadership Quote by Warren Bennis
"Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning."
~ Warren G. Bennis

My early career days have shaped my professional life later on. It was a field sales position at Tata McGraw-Hill, the leading academic publisher at the time. For my colleagues and me, the organization's culture was defined by what our manager, Raghu, was doing.  

Even though we had little to no experience, Raghu made us part of every decision process, taking on board our views. He gave us room to make our voices heard, even if they were dissenting opinions, and reasoned with us, providing new perspectives to bring us around. We felt everything would move only with our involvement in the company, though we were just front-line sales reps. 

We got the same feeling from our then Managing Director- Dr.NS, who was seven levels higher in the hierarchy, and Roystan, our second level manager. They indulged us during our meetings with them, allowing us to participate in new product development, bring in new ideas, give our feedback on policy matters, and be free to dissent publicly without the fear of reprisals or retribution.

No one told us that our goal was to be the numero uno in the market. It was a given. A goal that we as a team took on ourselves. We could be nothing less. 

These leaders made us feel that we were at the heart of everything, creating a sense of belonging, ownership, and accountability and centered on the purpose of providing high-quality education material accessible to all. 

Come to think of it; they made a bunch of rookies believe in themselves, the people, and the organization that they worked with and take on audacious goals, achieving them and being more than what we thought we could be just by making us feel we were at the heart of everything.

Inclusive leaders make people feel valued.

Leadership Coaching Questions

  1. What are you doing to make your team feel like they are at the heart of things in your organization?

  2. Recall a time when you thought you were at the heart of things at your organization. What made you feel that?

Leaders Poll

What challenges do you encounter in being inclusive in your leadership?

  • Communication Barriers

  • Insecurity

  • Unconscious Bias

  • Other, please comment

Get Coached

Suggested Readings

Warren Bennis Quotes, AZ Quotes,, accessed Feb 6, 2024.

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