In the past several years, there has been much discussion on the need to foster more inclusive workplaces, with special attention on general Diversity and Inclusion practices. However, we also need to see more diversity in leadership roles. Indeed, managerial-level diversity can be most instrumental in creating workplace environments that truly are inclusive of all kinds of people. One specific focus is on the queer community. How an we foster more LGBTQ+ leadership in the workplace? We spoke with Dr. Steve Yacovelli – “The Gay Leadership Dude” – about how to achieve this goal.
Watch our new interview with Steve Yacovelli to learn how to better support LGBTQ+ leadership at work:
Steve Yacovelli (“The Gay Leadership Dude”) is Owner & Principal of TopDog Learning Group, LLC, a learning and development, leadership, change management, and diversity and inclusion consulting firm based in Orlando, FL, with affiliates across the globe.
Steve and TopDog have had the pleasure of working with some great client-partners who they consider to be members of their “pack”. He’s worked with Fortune 500 greats like The Walt Disney Company and Bayer to amazing not-for-profits like The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The American Library Association; large universities like The Ohio State University and The University of Central Florida, to small entrepreneurial rock stars like International Training & Development and GovMojo, Inc. They have thoroughly enjoyed helping their client-partners grow, develop, expand, and be successful with our corporate learning, change management, diversity and inclusion, and leadership consulting goodness.
With over twenty-five years’ experience in leadership, strategy, organizational learning, and communication, Steve is a rare breed of professional that understands the power of using academic theory and applying it to the corporate setting to achieve business results. Oh, and he’s quite fond of dogs, too.
Diverse Leadership at Work
To start our discussion, Steve shares a bit about his journey to becoming The Gay Leadership Dude. After years of experience in leadership within organizations, it was a natural switch for him to focus on the queer community and lifting up diverse employees and managers.
Straight, cisgender people tuning in may wonder how workplaces can become more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people, as well as other minorities. Steve offers some excellent advice here, starting with specific pointers for those who are not part of minority groups. How can people be better allies? Moreover, how can someone in a leadership position make sure that they’re being inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees and applicants?
Steve has said that LGBTQ+ people naturally have “amazing leadership skills” due to their experiences. On our podcast, he dives into what he means by that. He shares excellent data on LGBTQ+ peoples’ particular strengths. In many cases, this is borne out of unique experiences they have as members of the queer community.
We then learn Steve’s perspective on LGBTQ+ leadership and experiences. What specific challenges or opportunities might LGBTQ+ leaders face? Steve outlines some of the big ones here and also offering ways to overcome those challenges.
Before wrapping up our discussion, Steve also talks about his book, Pride Leadership: Strategies for the LGBTQ+ Leader to Be the King or Queen of Their Jungle. He shares some of the sections within it, and it’s a book you’ll definitely want to read in full!
For more about LGBTQ+ leadership in your workplace, listen to our podcast with Steve:
To find out more about Dr. Steve Yacovelli, visit his Gay Leadership Dude website and TopDog website. You can also pick up a signed copy of his book, Pride Leadership, here. You an also keep up with all his latest news on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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