Radical Inclusion | Martin E. Dempsey

Summary of: Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership
By: Martin E. Dempsey

Introduction

In the book ‘Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership’, authors Martin E. Dempsey and Ori Brafman highlight the importance of inclusivity and adaptability in leadership. They discuss how the traditional command-and-control approach is becoming obsolete in today’s rapidly evolving, interconnected world. The book explores themes like the role of communities in shaping identities, the impact of digital interactions on inclusiveness, and the significance of stories in fostering emotional engagement. Furthermore, the authors provide straightforward strategies for achieving genuine inclusion, focusing on pillars of participation, personalization, and purpose. Readers will understand the necessity of discarding outdated practices to embrace a more open, inclusive leadership style.

The Power of Shared Control

Former US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair, Martin Dempsey, and author Ori Brafman reveal that commanding control is no longer necessary to maintain a competitive edge. The authors present inclusion strategies for leaders to adapt to the ever-changing global, interconnected and communicative environment. With an impressive background, Dempsey’s embracing of relinquishing control in command-and-control environments grants credibility to the authors. They urge leaders to seek opportunities to share control to preserve and enhance their power. Old practices must change, and leaders must adapt to remain relevant in the modern world.

Redefining Identity in the Digital Age

In their book, Dempsey and Brafman examine how communities shape identity and warn against the high cost of control. As global travel and communication become more accessible, communities are becoming less insular. The authors caution against the danger of relying solely on reports when making judgments about outsiders who want to join a community, as bias can cloud judgment. While control can be a form of exclusion that takes a toll on time and money, Dempsey and Brafman suggest that digital interactions offer a way to foster a more inclusive approach.

Echo Chambers and Climate Change

Dempsey and Brafman highlight how digital echo chambers limit knowledge gathering, leading to polarisation in beliefs. In a world where verifying facts is becoming increasingly difficult, inclusion is imperative.

Dempsey and Brafman talk about digital echo chambers. This is a phenomenon where people seek confirmation of their beliefs and opinions on social media platforms or other online sources. The authors use climate change as an example of how digital echo chambers limit knowledge gathering. Two people with different political views can access different news sources, which presents the problem of conflict in their findings. When these individuals share their stories on their social media platforms, their friends support their views by sharing similar stories. This process continues as members of the group find community voices that validate their beliefs and facts that contradict their views or opinions are often overlooked. While Dempsey and Brafman perceive this phenomenon to be more common amongst older demographics, the polarisation of beliefs due to digital echo chambers affects all age groups. The authors conclude that in such a world where verifying facts is getting harder, inclusion is mandatory. They suggest that facts may not be interesting, but stories are. People don’t always expect stories to be 100% accurate. Flexibility allows storytellers to share their stories, recalling partial details, which increases engagement.

The Art of Real Inclusion

Dempsey and Brafman’s book highlights the importance of real inclusion in leadership. The authors stress the need to understand the pillars of participation, personalization, and purpose. They urge leaders to invest in their staff, make them feel they belong and showcase mutual team successes. The authors teach that reflection on failures provides a safe environment for personal and team growth. They encourage leaders to avoid complacency, embrace complexity, and seek new information to develop their employees’ imagination. Furthermore, leaders must help everyone understand why their contributions are meaningful. The authors make a compelling case for leaders to cultivate advisers who challenge authority and always seek to learn. Ultimately, the book emphasizes that real inclusion is not about letting anyone in but rather learning from and broadening perspectives by including those who are different.

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