Being a Consciously Inclusive Leader: NGLCC’s Takeaways

| By Kaela Roeder

Steve Yacovelli, known as the “Gay Leadership Dude,” offered his stellar leadership advice once again for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Webinar Wednesday series on April 15, 2020.

Yacovelli presented his webinar “Being a Consciously Inclusive Leader,” highlighting a variety of points that can help LGBT Businesses leaders thrive, even in these times of uncertainty.

The NGLCC Team was ecstatic to present this webinar with TopDog Learning Group and Yacovelli, and we wanted to spotlight our three takeaways from the webinar!

     1. Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

“Our goal is to make people feel like they belong,” said Yacovelli.

Often, diversity and inclusion are the hot-button terms used in fostering an accepting workplace. However, belonging often gets left out of the phrase, even though the feeling of acceptance is an integral part to diversity and inclusion efforts.

Yacovelli shared a helpful analogy: diversity is being invited to the dance, and inclusion is being asked to dance. Belonging is feeling comfortable and being wanted at the dance. The feeling of belonging is key to a more productive and content workplace, Yacovelli added.

     2. Seek to Understand Your Unconscious Bias

“If you are in this room, you have bias,” said Yacovelli.

Our bias comes from our upbringing, our education and our community. “These patterns begin on day one,” he said.  

But, there are ways that we can consciously go against these learned biases. We can seek out different opinions, deliberately think about the different skills people can bring to the table and many more conscious actions.

Yaciovelli explained the program Project Implicit, a research study by a consortium of universities that sought out to understand unconscious bias. The study found that biases many people are unaware of their own implicit biases, biases influence behavior and educational background does not correlate with implicit bias.

Understanding one’s own bias is essential to becoming a consciously inclusive leader. Consciously inclusive leadership causes people to feel welcome and accepted at work, which leads to higher productivity and better business results, Yaciovelli added.

     3. Think in, Speak Up and Act Out

Think in, Speak Up and Act Out: These are the key steps to be a consciously inclusive leader in the workplace.

One of the first steps to being a consciously inclusive leader is to explore your own behaviors and attitudes. Think about your own hidden biases, educate yourself on the experiences of others and practice mindfulness. Look back on how you behave in certain situations and try to see why you behave in those ways.

The next step is to speak up. If an injustice or derogatory statement is made and not called upon, that assumption and attitude lives on in the workplace. A consciously inclusive leader speaks up about hurtful or derogatory comments, but in a way that fosters education and mindfulness.

“Act out” focuses on the operations of the organization at large and examines how the community can be more inclusive. Analyze the training programs in the workplace, the marketing materials used for your company and the systems in place that hold the leaders and employees accountable. The structures and systems in the workplace influence inclusion greatly, and should be formatted to encourage a welcoming community.


To learn more about Yacovelli and TopDog Learning Group, make sure to visit their website by clicking here.

Learn more about our Webinar Wednesdays by visiting our page here.

For additional ways to help you, your business, and the LGBT community during this time, visit the NGLCC COVID-19 Resource Hub for the LGBT Business Community.