Diversity & Inclusion: Respect for divergent religious beliefs

Recently while speaking to a group, a member of the audience made reference to leadership preferences of the younger generations being much like that of Biblical leadership traits and beliefs.  We had been discussing servant leadership as the most effective style of leadership in today’s world.

Servant leadership is never about “self;” it is always about “others.”  Servant leadership is always about helping people succeed.  When you help people succeed, you help your organization achieve greater results.   Your people are happier as they have achieved a higher level of self-esteem and feelings of belonging.   You can more easily maximize peoples’ potential.

A key element of servant leadership is diversity and inclusion, which has never been as important to organizational and community health as it is today and will be even more so in years to come.  Diversity also includes respect for peoples’ divergent beliefs, including faith beliefs.   I am a Christian, however, many years ago, to gain a better understanding of divergent beliefs, I began studying other religions and beliefs, including attending diverse places of worship.  I wanted to learn so I could help create understanding in others.

I recall reading evangelist Billy Graham’s book on leadership.  He told a story about being invited to speak in a mid-eastern country.   I do not recall what country or the time-frame in which this occurred.  One thing I do recall and will never forget is how he approached his message.  He did not speak on the “differences” in divergent religious beliefs; he focused on what all faiths had in common—love.   They are all grounded in love.

In my book “4 Generations @ Work,” this is a critical recommendation for creating a high performing culture—“focus on what we have in common, not on differences.”

In an organization or community, create a culture of true diversity and inclusion where all people feel safe to be themselves.   Create understanding and acceptance of divergent peoples and thought processes.  Give all people a voice.

True diversity must be inclusive and respectful of all.   Diversity is not mere espoused programming and words on a wall; it’s a living, breathing way of life.  You will hear me say this often as it is a must if creating a culture of diversity.  It’s creating a culture within your organization or community where all people know they belong, and that they are respected for “who they are,” not what “you think they should be.”

Also, create accountabilities for behaviors that tier to diversity and inclusiveness; accept nothing less.  When this occurs, you create positive energy that you cannot shut down.  Things happen.  Further, you are able to leverage divergent thoughts and perspectives each individual brings to your organization—you are able to innovate and create.


Copyright © 2011 by Patricia Hatley

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval without permission in writing from the author.


About Patricia Hatley

Patricia Hatley is a leadership author, researcher, speaker, trainer, consultant. We provide resources to empower people to empower others. “Inspired leadership elevates everything!” With a graduate degree in strategic leadership, primarily transformational leadership, Patricia Hatley is a leadership researcher with a concentration on 21st century intergenerational leadership, author, consultant, and teacher. Patricia is an intergenerational pro with over 30 years experience leading teams in corporate and non-profit environments. In December 2012, she retired from a 42 year career in the corporate environment to concentrate on this project. Her books include: (1) “4 Generations @ Work: Leading from Conflict to Collaboration,” (2011) based on research conducted within a Fortune 500 company and across all industries, is a study of generational preferences and values and how to effectively integrate all into any organization. (2) “Three Things All People Want,” (2014) which reveals how to inspire people to engagement by tapping into three basic human needs; and (3) “Digital Grenades: Explosive and Corrosive,” (2015) which deals with inspiring people to engagement and high performance when most interaction is across a digital platform via some kind of digital communications, i.e. email, social media, texting, etc . (4) “4 Generations @ Work: A Case for Empowerment,” (2015) a revised and expanded version of her first book 4 Generations @ Work. Patricia’s fourth book is a self-help book for anyone to use to develop a highly engaging workplace, for anyone. It provides information, based on recent and life-long experience:  How to develop an empowered culture, and why such a culture is critical to success today and even more so over the next decade;  “The Trust Factor” importance and basics;  “The Power of Ask,” what it is, how it works, and how crucial it is to success;  “Listening to Understand” basics;  “Integrity today” what it looks like and why it is different and crucial to success;  “Diversity and Inclusion,” what it looks like today, why, importance, and how tos;  Five generations: Intergenerational values and preferences, creating understanding, reducing conflict, engagement, etc.;  The Plurals--She introduces the next generation to flood the work force, the Plurals. Plurals are different than any generation yet, but require many of the same things in the workplace that their colleagues, the Gen Ys, do.
This entry was posted in 4 Generations in workplace, Aging Work Force, Collaboration, Digital Age Leadership, Digital Communications, EEOC Complaints, Generation Ys, Generations Z, HR Leadership, Leading for results in digital world, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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