Posted by Keith Coats, Co-Founder of TomorrowToday South Africa
Posted on March 7th, 2013 at 11:15 am

Leading Diversity: three simple things you can do

Leading and managing diversity is not optional for the contemporary leader. It is also not as easily done as it is stated! Of course ‘diversity’ is as complex as it is nuanced and much has been said and written on the subject. I am currently in Istanbul doing a day on ‘leading diversity’ for an international pharmaceutical company who are intent on equipping their senior leaders in this vital area. It is a wonderful city in which to explore this topic and a good part of the day is spent out and about in the city getting a first-hand engagement with diversity.

There are three things the delegates are asked to pay attention to when they are in the city. They are three things that any leader ought to be attentive to when it comes to engaging with their own context as it concerns diversity.

  1. Pay attention to what is happening around you. Context is important and so always be aware of your context.
  2. Pay attention to what is happening within you. You lead out of who you are and so becoming aware of internal shifts and emotions is critical when engaging with diversity. Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence and nowhere is this work more important than in the desire to master diversity.
  3. Pay attention to what is happening amongst you (amongst your team). Good leaders pay attention what is happening amongst those with whom they share the journey.

Three simple yet practical stepping-stones towards exploring diversity. Why not create a setting that will allow you and your team to engage with something different and then pay attention to these three areas? It might surprise you what emerges!

Keith Coats, co-founder of TomorrowToday South Africa, leadership development guru, speaker and author. For more information contact


  1. “Leading Diversity; Three Simple Things You Can Do” is a good topic. Though all the managers at every level do perform these things while at work, rather so many other things as well. I just need your clarification on “Pay attention to what is happening around you. Context is important and so always be aware of your context”. What does the word CONTEXT means here, OK it is simply understood by me that it indicates the SUBJECT MATTER. Kindly correct me.

  2. Graham says:

    Very insightful. It sounds obvious but reviewing the basics is the key to mastery!

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