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Why DEI Leadership is Countercultural

DEI leadership, by its very nature, is countercultural. Common sense tells us that the people most impacted by a problem are the most qualified to solve it. They are the people equipped with firsthand experience because they have “lived” the problem. Unfortunately, in most organizations, these folks aren’t necessarily sitting at the decision-making table. Without authentic input from these crucial stakeholders, DEI strategic plans are doomed to fail. 


Transformational change requires feedback loops between current leaders and historically marginalized individuals and groups. Leaders must establish psychological safety before authentic, high-quality feedback can be a two-way street. They must develop innovative leadership skills, including self-awareness, humility, and deep listening. These skills are the foundation for the "reverse mentoring" relationships that make DEI initiatives successful.

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