When discussing monumental leaders who have walked the Earth, Jesus the man -- pressed by adversity and the highs of being mortal -- falls into the convo. But that’s not a surprise.
With only a short presence on the Earth, one that lasted for a meagre 33 years, you could say it is a miracle that his vision, his legacy, and purpose have stood strong amid wars, economic downturns, hunger, famine, and severe hardships. The impact of his leadership speaks for itself.
The story of Jesus (the man) tells of an identity who understood the harshness of extreme bias and was ready to taste from the bitter cup of persecution if the vision and objective would be achieved.
It didn't matter if it took going against established norms and social propaganda. It didn't matter if He had to die for it. That story shows integrity, deep-rooted values, and the spirit of a fighter. The exact qualities that would form a good part of why He is the messiah - someone who brings light to the truth - to many.
Yet, there’s more to this man than saving lives. He was a leader. Some would describe his actions as insurrection. Others may well say, He was a proponent of anarchy. Irrespective of the view, there are deep lessons on leadership that we can obtain from his practices. For example, how He never discriminated against anyone with a contrary view but exposed them to "new" teaching that aligned with a shared objective.
There was no bias based on gender, or age, or class. Neither would you notice an unconscious bias stemming from race. The objective always was at the vanguard of every action and conversation. And whoever could help achieve this objective was welcomed. The impact of His unbiased style of leadership is still felt today.
What is Multicultural Leadership?
According to crestcom.com “Multicultural leadership is the ability to inspire others from different parts of the hemisphere to work toward a shared vision in a harmonized rhythm despite their cultural differences (not appealing more or less to any one group).”
Multicultural leadership gives everyone a platform to show their worth. Your efforts are appreciated. Your errors hardly identify you. You possess equal opportunity as a Black person or as white.
A multicultural environment is strategic in empowering individuals to reach their potential and expand their expertise. In the workplace, it creates room for supercharged growth.
How powerful is Unconscious Bias in undermining
Inclusion and Diversity efforts?
Unconscious bias describes attitudes, beliefs, and learned assumptions about specific things or people that we hardly know we have. These biases often result in strengthening pre-existing stereotypes which leads to the unintended consequence of hampering inclusiveness and diversity.
When you react in a certain way for person A, and another way for Person B in very similar conditions (although unintentionally), unconscious bias may be the reason. Pre-existing beliefs about a certain group of people differentiated by gender or culture may have come from childhood experiences or observations through periods of maturity.
Given the opportunity, these beliefs show themselves as attitudes, which may be described as discriminatory or non-inclusive. The potency of non-inclusivity is that (without help) it is hardly ever known or thought of as a bias. The consequence is a negative work environment where the multicultural workforce is demoralized because of their differences.
Unconscious bias may appear as:
Halo Effect (Impression based on quality/traits)
Horns effect (the negative impression of a person based on traits/experience)
Status Quo Bias (a preference for the present)
Authority Bias, etc.
The strength of every form of bias mentioned above lies in the fact that it shows itself without intention. That is an unconscious response to actions that trigger their appearance. In healthy environments where inclusion is valued, this is exactly what you’re trying to eliminate.
Multicultural leadership leads to Monumental leadership
Monumental leadership describes the leadership style that breeds lasting change. Think about Jesus, or Martin Luther King: each had a vision. A specific objective: save the world, free the Black race. Their actions never disputed their stance in their beliefs. Their words showed the passion behind their actions. And they opened their doors to everyone who shared their passions without bias.
Where current day leaders may lack grit, for them it was tenacity and enviable stoicism. Monumental leaders shaped history and positively infected a generation with their ideas. Such are the leaders we need today. The stakes are high. We need an inclusive society.
Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Rastafari or another Spiritual belief system, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. I share my well wishes regardless of your faith because as human beings we show and share the love for one another through the customs we have learned. Our differences need not define us. You CAN appreciate others without losing yourself. Great leadership is based on your ability to understand others, to minimize your own bias, and help everyone shine.
Tough Convos is built on the principle of using diversity and inclusion as a building block. Find out how we can help you build an inclusive culture and lead multicultural teams by embedding these principles into your company. Book a call with us or sign up to attend our next Tough Convo experience in January.