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Jenny Vazquez-Newsum

Harnessing the Power of Underrepresented Leaders

3.4 (117 ratings)
15 mins
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    Untapped Leadership
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    Rethinking and diversifying our ideas about leadership

    Leadership is often equated with power. This view isn’t just restrictive; it also perpetuates a cycle in which only those from privileged backgrounds, who have often inherited their status, are seen as rightful leaders. The statistics are telling in this regard: women of color represent a mere four percent of executive-level managers. Black, Latinx, and Asian leaders are similarly underrepresented in top corporate positions, underlining a systemic issue in how we recognize and appoint leaders.

    Underrepresentation is reflected in the way we talk about leadership, too. The mainstream discourse, predominantly shaped by white men, often fails to consider the nuanced realities of those from marginalized communities. Instead, it offers simplistic leadership strategies that overlook the barriers preventing many individuals from accessing opportunities to lead. 

    In other words, this one-size-fits-all narrative on leadership does not account for the unique experiences and challenges faced by leaders of color, making it evident that the current leadership models are not only outdated but also exclusive.

    The purpose of this critique isn’t to dismiss the contributions made by those from the dominant culture – it’s to highlight the urgent need for a broader, more inclusive perspective that values the experiences and insights of marginalized leaders. The expertise and perspectives of leaders of color are invaluable, offering lessons that can enrich and enhance the leadership models we follow. Their experiences, often shaped by overcoming systemic barriers and navigating through a society that frequently overlooks them, provide a deeper understanding of leadership that is inclusive, empathetic, and adaptive.

    As we look to evolve our understanding and practice of leadership, it’s clear that embracing diversity and inclusivity is not just a moral imperative, but a strategic one. The insights and expertise of leaders from underrepresented communities offer a pathway to more effective and compassionate leadership. By valuing and integrating these diverse perspectives in our leadership models, we can begin to dismantle the outdated notions of leadership that have long dominated our society. The future of leadership lies in recognizing and elevating the voices of those who have been historically marginalized, ensuring that leadership is truly representative of the diversity of our society.

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    What is Untapped Leadership about?

    Untapped Leadership (2023) explores the leadership strategies, capabilities, and contributions made by leaders of color and those from marginalized backgrounds. Sharing diverse stories and strategies, it argues that the insights derived from BIPOC leadership are universally applicable, offering valuable lessons for anyone interested in enhancing their approach to leadership and navigating complex professional and personal landscapes.

    Untapped Leadership Review

    Untapped Leadership (2020) explores innovative approaches to effective leadership. Here's why this book is a valuable read:

    • Provides fresh perspectives on leadership, challenging traditional notions and offering new insights for personal and professional growth.
    • Offers practical strategies for honing leadership skills, empowering readers to cultivate their potential and excel in various roles.
    • Presents engaging case studies and success stories, making complex leadership concepts accessible and inspiring continuous learning and development.

    Who should read Untapped Leadership?

    • Aspiring leaders seeking personal and professional development
    • Managers aiming to enhance team performance and innovation
    • All those interested in diverse leadership strategies and perspectives

    About the Author

    Jenny Vazquez-Newsum is a recognized authority in the field of leadership development. She is the founder and CEO of Untapped Leaders, a woman-of-color-led leadership development organization, and a member of the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women and the Scripps College Laspa Leadership Center Advisory Committee.

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    Untapped Leadership FAQs 

    What is the main message of Untapped Leadership?

    The main message of Untapped Leadership is leveraging unique strengths for effective leadership.

    How long does it take to read Untapped Leadership?

    Reading time for Untapped Leadership varies based on individual pace, typically taking a few hours. You can read the Blinkist summary in 15 minutes.

    Is Untapped Leadership a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Untapped Leadership is worth reading as it emphasizes utilizing personal strengths for impactful leadership.

    Who is the author of Untapped Leadership?

    The author of Untapped Leadership is Jenny Vazquez-Newsum.

    What to read after Untapped Leadership?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Untapped Leadership, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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