“Leaders set the tone for their organizations not only with their own behavior but also with what they reward, tolerate, or overlook,” Minette says. She’s experienced firsthand the power of championing diverse voices: she joined the male-dominated tech industry as a liberal arts major with no STEM background, and rose through the ranks to become VP of Engineering Practice at industry giant Autodesk (which makes the Oscar-winning animation software Maya). There, she successfully led 3500 software professionals—not despite her unique perspective, but because of it.
Minette previously co-authored The Psychological Safety Playbook (a #1 Amazon bestseller in Business Health & Stress). Now, in The Boldly Inclusive Leader, she offers daily and weekly practices that you can use in your own organization to hone your leadership skills. For example:
- Calling out the interruptions in meetings—even if you’re not the one facilitating;
- Taking notes about your emotions and using them as data for your decisions;
- Asking “What am I missing?” or “What have I not thought of?” when you share a point of view (and actually giving others time to respond).
“Inclusive leadership is a practice, and every day provides a new opportunity to model inclusive behavior,” Minette tells Lavin. “Like any practice you may have in your life, you improve over time, but that doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes or experience frustrations along the way. When you commit to inclusive leadership, you incorporate the practice into your daily work.”