Ernst & Young has identified some central tenets of inclusive leadership.
What are they and how are they relevant to the leadership challenges faced by Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain?
Understanding the value of difference as a driver of performance
Can the Captain harness the different attributes of players from a variety of countries, cultures and backgrounds?
Leaders who successfully draw upon difference of opinion, talent, cultural perspective and intelligence will build teams better equipped to face challenges and more likely to outperform those composed of people from similar backgrounds.
Embracing a collaborative leadership style
A Ryder Cup Team is made up of highly successful players, whose opinions are backed up by a record of achievement. Can the Captain and his Vice-Captains create an atmosphere of openness and trust so that the players feel able to share their views – even when the team is under pressure?
Leaders need to welcome challenge. Rather than defuse or deny it, they must listen to what people in the team are saying, without punishing them for speaking up. This means modifying the old “command and control” style of leadership and actively embracing a collaborative leadership style.
Finding ways to support difference
More European golfers are now playing regularly in the US and other parts of the world, rather than just participating in European Tour events. Can the Captain help the players to use the global experience they have acquired to benefit the whole team?
Good leaders encourage employees to seize the opportunity to work in different countries and experience a wide variety of roles. They enable the development of new skills and competencies through exposure to different cultures, industries, individuals and ways of thinking. And they ensure that the benefits that these broader horizons bring to the individual are fed back into the team.
Taking a broad view of the business context
Paul McGinley is an Irishman who has studied in the US and spent his career traveling the world to play golf. Can he effectively combine local and international perspectives to inform his decision-making and leadership style?
Global leaders need to understand the changing business context, and take into account wider social, political, cultural and environmental trends. They need to develop an international mind-set, so that local decisions are grounded in an understanding of the wider context.
Promoting personal qualities
Can the Captain encourage golfers who regularly compete fiercely against each other to collaborate and deploy their skills to benefit the whole team?
Effective leaders encourage individuals to develop qualities that help a team to function. These attributes include transparency, flexibility, collaboration, informality, openness, creativity and nimbleness.