Strengths Coaching Blog

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Includer: Building a Diverse and Inclusive Leadership Pipeline - Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Includer with guest Luke Ramsay.





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“Stretch the circle wider.” This is the philosophy around which you orient your life. You want to include people and make them feel part of the group. In direct contrast to those who are drawn only to exclusive groups, you actively avoid those groups that exclude others. You want to expand the group so that as many people as possible can benefit from its support. You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group. You are an instinctively accepting person.

Regardless of race or sex or nationality or personality or faith, you cast few judgments. Judgments can hurt a person’s feelings. Why do that if you don’t have to? Your accepting nature does not necessarily rest on a belief that each of us is different and that one should respect these differences. Rather, it rests on your conviction that fundamentally we are all the same. We are all equally important. Thus, no one should be ignored. Each of us should be included. It is the least we all deserve.


Includer is not just an action, but a philosophy in which Includers orient their life. Includer doesn’t necessarily come from a belief that everyone is special like Individualization, but rather that we are all the same and all deserve to be seen and heard. If as an individual Includer is about making others feel part of a group, as a leader it means making others feel part of the cause. This can look very cerebral in leaders. It is being able to question who this decision will affect, and how the message will be received. It is inclusive and including, both an action and a mindset. Leaders will be able to imagine how they can affect their organization on both fronts. 

Think about Includer as being able to help build a more diverse or inclusive leadership pipeline. If you lead with Includer you see people that others might not notice. Think about this as an opportunity to be a builder and a developer of talent and potential through what it is you’re noticing. Also make sure to give others grace if they do not see this. Rather than a point of contention, see this as a gift that you can bring to a partnership. 

A leader with Includer might build trust by bringing special attention to confidentiality. Be a voice for all, but also be that shoulder for one person at a time. You might show compassion by saying yes every single day to people that reach out to you. Your hospitality will attract others to you. You might build stability by intentionally leveraging and building networks with individuals outside of your organization. Finally, a leader with Includer can build hope by intentionally being an advocate for those that are often excluded. This can be through ideas and policies, or just reaching a wider audience. It is not just a policy you need to follow because it is the right thing to do, but it is how the future can be just a little brighter by including people. 

How do you feel about the Includer theme in a leadership role? Share your thoughts and experiences on the Called to Coach Facebook page.

Pressed for time? We now have all of our Theme Thursday videos in short, easy-to-digest snippets and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.



Luke Ramsay is a seasoned Jack-of-all-trades. Having worked in agricultural finance, with equine veterinary students, and as an entrepreneurial coach and business incubator manager, you'll be hard pressed to find a theme in Luke's resume. 

Luke discovered Clifton StrengthsFinder through a facilitated event for his organization in 2008. He found the unique reports and patterns in his coworkers fascinating. 

Now, Luke is an independent coach focused on entrepreneurs, non-profit groups, and wherever teams are looking for ways to focus their collective Strengths.


Luke's top 5 strengths are: Individualization | WOO | Communication | Ideation | Includer.

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