The Entrepreneur In Heels

"It starts with an idea, that becomes a business, that becomes a success."

Diversity: The Entrepreneur’s New Necessity

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A successful leader is able to service multiple demographic groups

Developing leadership skills and effectiveness has never been more critical. Everyday we hear or read about how entrepreneurs must approach diversity as a building block to strengthen their teams. Diversity within any company starts with its leader. Attitude toward diversity originate at the top and eventually filter downward. Prior to starting your entrepreneur journey you should start taking steps to personally diversify yourself so that  as you build your business brand and culture, you will be sure you are encouraging diversity throughout your organization. Developing a personal diversity as a leader allows you to create different ideas, broader viewpoints, and a more diverse experience base all of which are a sure formula for business success. Effective diversity where differences are truly valued is more than just a good idea – it’s good business.

Rule number one as a leader always keep your personal, religious, political, and other beliefs outside the office. Hiring on this basis your team will be diverse in ethnicity, age, culture, political beliefs and religion. To some diversity is a group of people who think the same but look different. True diversity takes advantage of the individuality of a person’s expertise and inspires them to perform to their highest abilities.  A diverse collection of individuals allows your company to harbor a greater supply of ideas and solutions.

Companies today represent the current world we live in. Technology has increased the visibility of business services; making even the customers we reach more diverse. Research has proved that diversity is a source of strength and companies who support diversity are more successful.  As customers become more global, our businesses must become more diverse to compete for customer approval.

Leadership:

Here are three ways to diversify yourself as a leader

  1. Attend Diversity Workshops & Seminars. If you want a diverse team and  client base, you have to learn how to change your way of thinking. Diversity workshops teach business owners how to brainstorm and target a different industries or a different niches of your current industry.
  2. Volunteer For A Cultural Non-Profit. If you want to catch different fish, you have to fish in a different pond. Volunteering for a non-profit outside your culture is a great way to learn the likes and dislikes of customers you may want to target. Also, try using social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to build relationships outside your culture.
  3. Team up With Other Businesses.  Go outside of your box and build partnerships with other business owners in your community. Working with diverse businesses will open you up to different ways of doing things, new products and services to expand your client base.

Develop a  diversity mission statement that communicates your commitment to diversity. With a mission statement in place, now you need to develop  objectives to help achieve the mission. Launch a diversity plan with an all-employee meeting where you introduce your plan to the entire team.  All of your employees must commit to the plan to achieve the goal.  Each employee should have a clear vision of how they can participate in the plan. Supply diversity training materials to the employees to jump-start their ideas and involvement.

Workplace:

Here are some ways to diversify your staff

  1. Hire Individuals From Various Ethnic Groups. Hire employees who can help you gain insights into certain ethnic markets that could mean bigger profits for your company.
  2. Expand Your Current Diversity. Ask employees for referrals, since they will have peers in the industry and may know qualified candidates who may be looking for work.
  3. Recruit Candidates From Local Groups/ Organizations. Talk to local organizations with community connections, including churches, cultural institutions and colleges

If  entrepreneurs do not take on challenge to diversify, their businesses will eventually become extinct or behind the more innovative brands. Every business is striving to become the best.  Those that are at the top  must continue to fight to be the best or they will be blindsided very quickly. You must focus on being the best in more than one area, and offer more than a single solution to customer’s needs. Great leaders who stay on top of their diversity game are not just sitting back while it just happens;  they keep taking the necessary steps to move from one level to the next.

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Written by Beverly S. Davis

April 10, 2012 at 11:42 am

Posted in Leadership

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