The Importance of Team Diversity

By Pavan Muzumdar
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I have worked with a lot of teams; some are homogenous, while others are quite diverse. In my experience, the teams that consistently displayed better-than-average ability to resolve issues had balanced their gender diversity. I’m also fortunate that in my role as COO of Automation Alley, I am part of a similarly diverse team.

 

Hence, I found it sobering and a tad disturbing as a male, when I watched a TED Talk by Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, an organizational psychologist. The presentation is cheekily entitled “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?” While the name does get a few chuckles from the crowd, the mood changes very quickly when Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic points out early on that bad leadership can result in low levels of engagement, high-stress and burnout, and low profitability. Selecting incompetent leaders can have a long-lasting negative impact on any organization.

He outlines three simple reasons for this phenomenon: one, our inability to distinguish between confidence and competence; two, our preference for charismatic and entertaining leaders; and three, our inability to resist the draw of narcissistic leaders. As a combination, and for many reasons, it appears that the number of men possessing these characteristics far outweighs the number of women that exhibit them. We can all come with a handful of examples in which men with these traits led their companies, and in some cases countries, to ruin.

Fortunately, there are a couple of powerful principles in icube™ that can help leaders and leadership teams guard against the dangers of poor leadership. The first is the Trust Review, which if conducted properly can provide leaders a forum to share with their peers blind spots, such as overconfidence and arrogance. The second is having a well-designed scorecard that captures the objective metrics to help guide the team using facts as opposed to emotions.

Of course, neither of these is a magic bullet or easy to put into action. Only leaders with some level of self-awareness and emotional maturity will even agree to take the icube™ journey. However, those that do will find it immensely rewarding and potentially life-altering.

Pick up a copy of Venture Perfect to learn all about icube™ and how to facilitate it in your business.

Venture Perfect describes icube™, a business leadership system designed to maximize teamwork and profit in any company. icube™ teaches leaders how to create powerful systems and structures that foster an inspiring culture, an intelligent strategy, and intense execution for long-term sustainability.

Pavan Muzumdar Managing Director