Embracing diversity and inclusion is a critical yet challenging aspect of modern leadership. It requires leaders to not only acknowledge but deeply understand a variety of human experiences and perspectives. This task is made more difficult as it involves the dismantling of long-standing biases and systemic barriers while fostering an environment where every individual feels valued and empowered. Navigating these waters can be daunting, as it demands a delicate balance of empathy, awareness, and action. That’s where Dr. Anthony Giannoumis has stepped in. From a computer programmer and opera singer to a professor and motivational speaker, his story is as diverse as the messages he imparts. While he has an impressive resume, his goal is simple. “to create a spark of inclusion in the minds of leaders around the world.”
Yearning For More
Dr. Giannoumis’s career began in the financial sector, a path that soon felt misaligned with his inner values. “Every day, I grew more disillusioned with my work. I yearned for a purpose that transcended serving a corporate agenda,” he reflects. This restlessness propelled him toward academia, leading to eye-opening encounters and working with true world changers and leaders, which he describes as “a wake-up call to the kind of impact I wanted to have in the world.”
His pursuit of meaning led him to Norway, where he currently leads research initiatives at a prestigious institute. Here, Dr. Giannoumis has been instrumental in securing €13 million for projects centered around women, gender minorities, persons with disabilities, and individuals from the global south. When he is not spearheading new initiatives and organizations, Dr. Giannoumis speaks on stages around the world, motivating others to be inclusive and impactful leaders.
A Distinctive Approach to Leadership
What sets Dr. Giannoumis apart is his willingness to listen and learn, even from challenging feedback. He shares an instance where a student boldly pointed out his mistakes in the classroom, leading to a collaboration that fueled a €1.7 million grant project and the launch of 17 startups in 21 countries. “She listed everything I did wrong that day. It was tough to hear, but it opened my eyes. I realized that leadership is as much about listening as it is about guiding,” he shares.
Three Inclusive Leadership Tips from Dr. Giannoumis
- Shut Up So They Don’t Shut Down: Dr. Giannoumis stresses the importance of dismantling systemic power structures. He advises, “Listen more than you speak. It’s essential to break down the barriers of white and male supremacy that are deeply entrenched in our society.”
- See the Full Humanity of Your Team: “Don’t sanitize your workplace. Recognize and celebrate the diverse experiences of your team. It’s about acknowledging our differences and understanding that these experiences shape our worldviews,” he asserts.
- One Size Fits One: He advocates for personalized approaches, saying, “Inclusion is not about a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about understanding and catering to individual needs, which, in turn, benefits everyone.”
Upcoming Events and Call to Action
Dr. Giannoumis is set to deliver a keynote speech at the Zero Project Conference at the UN in Vienna at the end of February, an event not to be missed for those passionate about inclusive leadership. His book, “The Sins and Wins of Inclusive Leadership,” presents complex ideas in an accessible format, echoing his philosophy that simplicity and understanding are key to embracing inclusion.To learn more about his book and his work to champion inclusion around the globe, you can visit his website or follow him on LinkedIn.
Published By: Aize Perez