The 7 Traits of Culturally Savvy, Anti-Racist Leaders
by Colette A.M. Phillips
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Pub Date 16 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 01 Feb 2024
It’s a simple fact that the people who make policy and oversee government, sports, business, and the arts and entertainment are most commonly white men. Another fact: We cannot achieve meaningful progress if we exclude the very people who have the power to make systemic change.
This easy-to-read handbook is free of any attempts to shame, blame, or guilt leaders for the choices they made in the past or privileges they were born with. Instead, readers will learn to view the work they do through a racial equity lens so they can easily and immediately begin making changes.
In The Includers, Colette Phillips explores the core qualities that inclusive leaders share: character, cultural intelligence, connections, communications, collaboration, courage, and commitment. With humor and poignance, and backed by research, Phillips shares stories of real Includers: the CEOs, politicians, and public figures—all white male allies—she’s admired, known, and, in some cases, counseled.
For leaders who are ready to do their part and get beyond today’s “anti-woke” rhetoric, this eye-opening guide demonstrates the business imperative of diversity, equity, and inclusion and offers practical, actionable insights from allies and advocates who are willing to listen, learn, and “lead from behind” to create sustainable systemic change.
Average rating from 3 members
I found "The Includers" by Colette A.M. Phillips to be an insightful exploration of the seven essential traits for effective Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work. Phillips, the President and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications, brings a unique perspective as an immigrant from Antigua, offering a lens not commonly addressed in the field.
The book is structured around the seven C's: Character, Cultural Intelligence, Connections, Communications, Collaboration, Courage, and Commitment. Phillips shares and makes connections between personal anecdotes, case studies, and experiences to illustrate each trait, making the content accessible and relatable. Her journey as a seventeen-year-old immigrant to Boston in the early seventies adds a personal touch, enhancing the authenticity of her insights as a business leader.
One of the book's strengths lies in Phillips' emphasis on understanding the power, privilege, and access that white men hold. She encourages readers to actively include those in positions of power in anti-racist efforts, showcasing white male leaders in the corporate world who embody these values. This inclusive approach was a surprising, albeit, a new perspective that adds to the ongoing discourse on DEI.
"The Includers" goes beyond theoretical discussions by breaking down the organizational cost of neglecting diversity and failing to communicate values effectively. Phillips provides strategic ideas and practical tools for organizations and companies committed to meaningful change. As a reader, I appreciated learning about new leaders in the anti-racism movement, expanding my knowledge and understanding of advocates in this crucial space. The inclusion of a Cultural IQ checklist, along with an exploration of what cultural intelligence entails and why it is essential, further enriches the book. Phillips draws on over 30 years of experience running her own public relations agency, sharing valuable wisdom as a Black woman leader who has earned the respect of her peers.
In the epilogue, Phillips issues a compelling call to action to corporate America, offering additional reading recommendations and resources for those who desire to delve deeper into anti-racism work and DEI. This practical and actionable approach sets "The Includers" apart as a valuable resource for individuals, organizations, and leaders committed to fostering a more inclusive and equitable world. Thank you to the author and publisher for the e-arc copy!
I'm not the exact target audience for this book - I'm a middle manager in an academic library, and this would probably have the most impact on corporate C-suite types - but I got a lot out of it. Phillips makes a good case for the importance of getting white male executives on board with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in an authentic way to make those initiatives successful. Because much of her consulting work has been with people in the for-profit sector, she focuses a lot on how inclusion (and diversity and equity) positively impacts these businesses financially - from increased productivity/efficiency to sales. This is definitely something I'll recommend to people in administrative roles in libraries and I would also recommend it to white men and women who are interested in EDI in the workplace. As a white woman, I have often wondered how to promote inclusion efforts while acknowledging my privilege, and this book gave me some solid ideas for that.