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Simon T. Bailey: Build inclusive culture to tap talent’s brilliance

Simon T. Bailey

Working in an inclusive work culture cultivates employees’ brilliance, according to executive and life coach Simon T. Bailey, the closing keynote speaker at the NEW Leadership Summit 2018, Sept. 28 in Chicago.

“If you are going to amplify your impact, you have to tap into your brilliance – and that is realized in an environment where you are celebrated, instead of tolerated,” Bailey said. “When people are in an environment where they can bring their whole self to work, they learn to be a vitamin, not just an aspirin. When people love what they do, it’s not so much about what they are getting paid, it’s about what they are becoming.”

The real job of a leader is to invite people on a journey to discover themselves, while they are following you, Bailey said. “What are people catching and learning as they look at you every single day? Workforce capability is what am I learning, what am I unlearning and what am I re-learning, every day.”

Bailey advises to move away from performance reviews to quarterly “career investment discussions,” where employees can discuss where they’ve been the last 90 days, what they can do, where they are going and how they intend to amplify their impact for the next 30, 60 and 90 days.

Employees need psychological safety more now than ever before. “When we [prepare to] amp up our impact, we want a sense of belonging," he said. "We want to be thought of as human beings, not just a human doing."