• Monique C. Johnson, Ed.D.

Twelve Cs of an Inclusive Leader

Inclusive leadership begins with a desire to be and do better as a person and for the team that you lead. It's grounded in empowerment and creating a culture of belonging where all people can thrive.


An inclusive leader is self-aware and advocates for diversity but also has the inclusion skills to leverage the differences within the team in order to encourage better performance and nurture a feeling of belonging. The bottom line is inclusive leaders do the internal work, achieve the results and develop more leaders.




Inclusive leaders reflect and absorb new information regularly. Being vulnerable and willing to learn are traits that will help anyone to be a better leader.


I developed the 12 Cs of inclusive leadership but it's certainly not all inclusive. The 12 Cs include traits associated with inclusive leaders from my perspective. Let's begin!


12 Cs


Committed - Know your why.

Communicator -Exhibit good listening and communication skills.

Compassionate - Show care and concern for others.

Culturally Intelligent - Able to relate to and work with people of diverse backgrounds.

Curious - Possess a desire to learn, and is naturally inquisitive.

Courageous - Able to have difficult conversations and is not afraid to push the envelope.

Community-Minded - Builds trust by showing a genuine interest in others.

Conscious of Bias - Believes that bias exists and does the internal work to address one's own biases.

Creative -Supports innovation and new ideas.

Collaborative -Works together to achieve a common goal and is a team player.

Change Agent - Transformative, flexible, and willing to take action.

Cultivator of People - Develop talent, recruit, and retain in order to create a sense of belonging.


What would you add?


"Being an inclusive leader does not just make you a good leader of inclusion and diversity - it makes you a good leader."


Dr. Monique Johnson provides consulting services and presentations for organizations who are interested in learning more about inclusive leadership.