Melting Pot Leadership

“Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” Malcolm Forbes

A recent study by McKinsey & Co. found companies with leadership teams in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to deliver above average profitability than those in the bottom quartile. It seems the simple act of creating a mixed gender leadership team improves your business results.

Even better is to ensure your mixed gender leadership team is diversified ethnically and culturally. If it is, McKinsey found that you are 33% more likely to outperform most everyone else. The more varied the team, the better the results.

In case the message isn’t already crystal clear, let me put it this way, if you have a leadership team in which everyone looks exactly the same and shares the same background, you’re inhibiting independent thought, and hurting your company’s bottom line.

Look around you. What do you see? A rainbow of colors, a mix of accents, a variety of ethnic and cultural attributes or a boring uniformity? If the former, you’re on your way to the more successful end of the profitability scale. And if the latter, what are you waiting for? Get out there and add some texture to the picture.

As Maya Angelou says, “it’s time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” And it’s time for business leaders to listen to Angelou and realize in addition to beauty and strength, diversity in management leads to better results.

I leave you with one more quote, this one the words of an unknown ancient Muslim sage. “A lot of different flowers make a bouquet.”

Commenting area

  1. Well done and very timely! Agrees with my observations of “great teams” over time.

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