The 4C’s of Diverse Leadership

By Desiree Perez


As we mentioned in our last newsletter, our marketplace is changing quickly. Not only is this driven by the ever-changing demands, the new generations that are entering the workforce and also the market but also by globalization. The Business & General Aviation Industry in particular is noticing a closer global cooperation and an increase in a more globally diverse workforce.

Statistics show that 72% of the new emerging leaders are interested in working globally, spending some time overseas and diversity itself.[1] This means that we will also see a change in our talent landscape and how we will continue to keep our employees engaged. Traditionally, the B&GA industry has not had any problems attracting passionate employees that are willing and eager to grow with a company, but times are changing. Not only is technology and a lean organization becoming more important, but also giving employees the room to experiment, bring in their own ideas and be heard are key to attracting and retaining top talent.

When we talk about culture and diversity, we typically think of different national cultures, but diversity also includes different backgrounds, ways of thinking, knowledge and education. Knowing and appreciating values, dreams, habits and behaviors aside from technical knowledge are indispensable in a modern workplace. What would it actually look like if you could be fully aware of the strengths every team member brings to the table? How would you give them the room and opportunity to bring in their knowledge to create a unique, competitive advantage for your organization? And how would you bring it all together?

While this certainly takes time and effort, the following 4 steps are key to creating a diverse culture at your workplace:

STEP 1: Calculate

Calculate the cultural differences. There are 11 key values that individuals hold when it comes to the workplace, and we all have different habits, behaviors and opinions with regards to each of them. To simplify this example, below are the top 5 values:

Value #1: Time – focus

Do your employees prefer a rather flexible approach to time or a set time schedule?

Value #2: Time – orientation

Is it important to do things the way they have always been done or does success hinge on progress, innovation and change?

How much time do we make available as an organization for it?

Value #3: Action

What is most important to your employees? Relationship building, doing business with people they know or getting tasks accomplished?

Value #4: Communication

Do your team members prefer to imply things or rather explicitly state what they want? Is conflict avoided or handled directly, openly and face to face

Value #5: Power

Are formal lines of authority more important to your employees or is it acceptable to bypass formal lines of authority? How important is a clear hierarchical structure vs. a ‘flat” structure?

STEP 2: Choose

Choose together with your team and organization leadership what is negotiable or non-negotiable and where you can meet in the middle. It is important that everyone is aware of their own personal values and the organization’s objectives/goals to know where a compromise can be found.

STEP 3: Change

Everyone should adjust their behaviors based on the negotiable values that were identified and where common preference within the team lies.

STEP 4: Create

Create alliances for the non-negotiables. This means creating common understanding, buy-in and agreements for the values that are non-negotiables for certain team members. Being aware of the differences and understanding why they are not negotiable for a team member as well as creating an agreement on how this will be handled in the future are key to success.


Completing these steps can seem overwhelming and a lot of work, but using these strategies to allow your team members to better understand each other and the organizational/leadership goals are the key to success in creating a highly engaged and diverse workforce.

Do you want to learn more? Do you struggle with diverse leadership? There is certainly more emerging information and skills to learn and understand in order to create a diverse workforce. At ServiceElements, we specialize in Organizational Development and are happy and eager to help with the building, development and enrichment of your diverse team.

[1] Millennials at Work – PwC: Audit and assurance, consulting … (2011). Retrieved August 8, 2017, from,5062.1