In a new Training Unleashed Podcast, Evan Hackel and Leslie Short explored a very practical way to assure that your company will become dramatically more successful . . .

When you focus on Diversity and Inclusion, you will become better attuned to the clients you serve in the marketplace and as a result, far more successful.

Your organization will enjoy many other benefits too, as you will learn in our article today.

Leslie is President, CEO and Founder of The Cavu Group, an innovative firm that offers highly impactful workshops and consulting services to help organizations expand beyond their current cultures by embracing diversity and inclusion. The company’s core belief, found on its home page, is, “Diversity is no longer an option. Inclusion is not only having a seat at the table, it’s having a valued voice at the table.”

Leslie is also author of the new book Expand Beyond Your Current Culture: Diversity & Inclusion for CEOs & Leadership.

We know you will want to watch this podcast, which will transform your organization and your leadership. We are pleased to give you a preview with the following edited excerpts.

Evan and Leslie Discuss Diversity and Inclusion

Evan: Today we’re going to have a great show. We’re going to talk about something I’m deeply passionate about: why diversity, equity and inclusion really improve and grow a business. And we have a great guest. She is Leslie Short, President, CEO and Founder of The Cavu Group and author of the book, Expand Beyond Your Current Culture: Diversity & Inclusion for CEOs & Leadership. She is a diversity and inclusion pioneer and specialist.

Leslie, my first question is about the company you founded, The Cavu Group. Why did you come up with that name?

Leslie: I’m happy to be here! Cavu is an aviation term that stands for “Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited.” It means your visibility is unlimited. And when we think about diversity, equity and inclusion, our visibility should be unlimited.

Evan: Well, I do like that. I think you and I agree that diversity and inclusion are not only about doing what is right (although it is right). It’s about building a stronger and better business. Why do diversity, equity and inclusion help people build more successful businesses?

Leslie: If you build diversity and inclusion into the foundation of your business, then you don’t have to think constantly about adding it on and figuring it out. You’re not thinking about who your consumer is or who the people are that are working with you.

How do I get that diversity of thought, of culture, of being? When you have people sitting in a room where they can share their different cultures and thoughts and beings and education and all the other things that come along with them, that only makes you a stronger option for a consumer that’s looking to invest back into a company. And when I say invest as a customer, that means every time I go to buy something I know I’m buying from a company that understands maybe just a small piece of who I am.

Evan: Well, I think what you’re saying is really important because diversity of thought is hugely important to a business. And companies that do not allow alternate points of view because the right people are literally absent, that’s a shortcoming and they’re not going to reach the whole market.

Let’s take this into culture. How do you create culture with an organization that not only wants diversity, equity and inclusion to be visible, but to really become the organizational culture?

Leslie: Well, one, you have to recognize what diversity is to you, right? So many people think it’s Black and White, while diversity is gender, race, LGBTQ, plus disability, and veterans.

Evan: And age.

Leslie: And age! I like to say, “What’s in their bag?”

That means, what are they bringing to the table in their skill set and in their understanding of cultural things? And when you build that and you recognize that each person brings something, that helps you build a company culture. Company culture also means you’re giving people equity. That is pay equity, access to tools to learn, to think, to continue education, to be promoted and understand the systems you have put in place.

Evan: Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about leadership. What advice do you have for a leader? And I’m going to pose a question on behalf of the audience. I’ve been a leader for years. I consider myself a good leader, but I’ve never used the filter of diversity, equity and inclusion in my leadership. What do I do now? How do I shift? What are the key tidbits, the key suggestions that you would give to a leader to become effective?

Leslie: As a leader, you have to understand who you are, who you are as a person. It’s not about having the title “leader,” but about who you are as a person, what you bring to your leadership, what you offer. Are you someone that’s an active listener that has empathy?

Then more than anything, you have to look at people for who they are. Why were they hired? What’s the skill set they’re bringing? And then beyond that, who are they?

And then when you’re doing that, the way that you are looking at diversity, equity and inclusion will be automatic because you’re seeing a full being and not what you think they should be to fit into the hole that you need filled.

Evan: So what I’m hearing you say is as a leader, you have to have tremendous empathy. And that you need to look at the teams that you’re building and consider the diversity of people, personalities, all of these things to have effective teams. And those are really the two keys.

Leslie: Those are the two keys. Yes.

Evan: And diversity and inclusion have a major effect on retention too.

Leslie: Absolutely. There’s a reason people stay and a reason why people leave. And if they can see themselves within the company, if their work is valued, if they express a value voice or value action by what they do every day, they will stay and they will continue to grow and want to grow within the company. That is a huge benefit.

Evan: Do you have one tip to share with our viewers?

Leslie: Yes, I do. Continue to expand beyond your current culture!

A Special Offer from Leslie to Members of the Training Unleashed Community

Many guests on Training Unleashed offer viewers a free book or a complimentary subscription to a newsletter. Those are generous gifts! But we are excited to let you know that Leslie Short is offering you something that is remarkably powerful and transformative . . .

Leslie is offering to spend time talking with you!

Why? Leslie explains, “I do have a book, Expand Beyond Your Current Culture. It gives different tips and stories. But I really want diversity and inclusion to be successful for you and your company. I don’t want to hear that diversity and inclusion are “just buzzwords,” and I don’t want to hear that diversity and inclusion don’t work.

“So let’s have a conversation of how it can work for you.”

How can you schedule a time to talk to Leslie? Email her at [email protected].

Be sure to mention that you are taking advantage of the offer she made for members of the Training Unleashed family.

About Our Guest

Leslie Short is President, CEO and Founder of The Cavu Group, a consulting company that is committed to helping organizations formulate the next generation of understanding unlimited visibility and eliminating unconscious bias by educating and sensitizing senior leadership and all employees.

Leslie brings four decades of experience that includes fostering growth through open conversations, conflict coaching, training and workshops. She firmly believes that issues don’t go away because programs are in place. Solutions require continually evolving and having a channel to listen to and understand people.

Leslie is author of the new book Expand Beyond Your Current Culture: Diversity & Inclusion for CEOs & Leadership.