Reboot Podcast Episode #127 – Leadership Without Inclusivity Is Not Leadership – with Jennifer Brown

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown

Author, Diversity and Inclusion Expert

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Episode Description

In this release, Jerry sits down with leading diversity and inclusion expert Jennifer Brown to explore her latest book, How to Be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive. In this conversation, recorded at the beginning of 2020, Jennifer reveals why inclusive leadership is not only risky, but often uncomfortable, and why discomfort is necessary for individual and organizational growth. Jerry and Jennifer analyze why true inclusivity requires removing the barriers to belonging in the workplace and share that when those with whom we work feel a true sense of belonging, trust and productivity increase within an organization. They examine the power of pronouns, make the distinction between allyship and advocacy, confront the ways in which our biases direct us, and describe why leadership without inclusivity is not true leadership.

How to Be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive | When They See Us | This Man Makes Founders Cry | Reboot’s Free Course on Inclusivity & Belonging

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Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“There’s a huge appetite for this now and it’s only growing. It’s finally caught fire.” – Jennifer Brown

“Working with our unconscious biases, working with the ways in which we may have been socialized racially, working with a part of ourselves that we don’t really want to look at is an important component of actually leading well.” – Jerry Colonna

“This discussion of white supremacy can totally bring progress to a standstill if the audience isn’t ready for that conversation.” – Jennifer Brown

“If you’re not uncomfortable every day, you’re not leading.” – Jennifer Brown

“We expect diversity and inclusion to somehow sort of magically come down from above and land in our lap.” – Jennifer Brown

“Preferred pronoun versus pronoun, it’s not preferred, it’s actually your pronoun.” – Jennifer Brown

“Leadership requires risks, that’s how we grow, and that’s how organizations grow. Organizations grow together by collective risk-taking.” – Jennifer Brown

“Part of our experience of being a leader is to lean into the sharp edges of the places where we might feel guilt and shame, where we feel inadequate, where we feel incompetent and to allow the experience of that means to allow the fullness of our humanity to come forward.” – Jerry Colonna

“You have to bear witness and you have to be uncomfortable for a moment. Living in empathy with someone for a moment, imagining that that reality is a day to day reality for someone and it may be a momentary discomfort for you and it may be a daily discomfort for others around you.” – Jennifer Brown

“Our biases direct us all the time. Those are things that need to be examined. But in order to examine them, we’ve got to heighten our awareness to them in ourselves and others.” – Jennifer Brown

“We can be well-intended and be the most biased person ever. And many of us are.” – Jennifer Brown

“The definition of courage and character is failing forward.” – Jennifer Brown

“If I’m gonna live up to my aspirational values, I’m gonna have to even step it, as an individual, I have to step into that uncomfortable spot.” – Jerry Colonna

“Do 80% of your work and then use that 20% to ask really targeted questions.” – Jennifer Brown

“To use radical self-inquiry to grow as a leader is incomplete if you are not willing to look at the biases that you have been acculturated with and grown up with.” – Jerry Colonna

“Why don’t we love our colleagues in the same way as we might love our family members?” – Jennifer Brown

“Leadership is present anytime you’re in community with yourself or another person.” – Jennifer Brown