I had the pleasure of attending the DFW Technology Prayer Breakfast in Irving, Texas a few years ago.

Represented at the event were about 800 business women and men united together to celebrate the importance of diverse faith in technology and in the workplace.

The keynote speaker, Onyeka Nchege, CIO of Interstate Batteries, spoke about the importance of having your “War Cry.”  Where the war cry represented the ‘purpose’ for which you were put on this earth to serve.

He spoke of specific characteristics and traits that paralleled with this war cry, I couldn’t help but notice, how these were but a few, of the same ones that we also discuss in our Inclusive + Equitable ™ Leadership consulting, workshops and seminars.

These traits which included Self Awareness, Courage and Self Regulation are but a handful of the ones we believe Inclusive + Equitable ™  Leaders possess and utilize to make a sustainable impact on themselves and the organizations they serve.

Self Awareness is the key to knowing your gift and activating your war cry as Onyeka stated, “It starts with you!”

In our Inclusive + Equitable ™ Leadership workshops, we also discuss how, becoming aware and connecting with oneself, is the most crucial step for Inclusive Leadership.

“Before one can lead others, he or she must be able to lead himself.” ~ Unknown

Self Awareness is the beginning and foundation of effective leadership. By knowing oneself you can define which values shape who you are as an individual and as a leader. Recognizing your own behavior and how it impacts others is key to becoming more inclusive.

We all have bias, it’s not necessarily a bad word, it’s just a fact. Bias becomes negative when we use it in negative forms, such as hate, assault, micro-inequities or micro-aggressive behaviors or attitudes.

A cognitive bias is a type of error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them. The human brain is powerful but also subject to limitations. Cognitive biases are often a result of your brain’s attempt to simplify processing information.

Our behaviors are shaped by the decisions we have made each and everyday, these decisions were motivated by the stimuli in our brains based upon the information we’ve received and processed again and again over time. Becoming aware of how we act out in negative and detrimental patterns is fundamental to self awareness.

Self Regulation is another critical attribute for Inclusive + Equitable™ Leadership, you must train and discipline the behavior of self control, in order to assure you are not only leading others with authenticity, but also leading yourself. Self Regulation or self control is critical in decision making and outcomes for individuals.

Understanding how our conversations (not only the words we say, but the way we speak to others, using both verbal and non verbal gestures, pitch, tone and volume) impact others.

Inclusive + Equitable™ Leaders must also have Courage. We all know it takes a great deal of courage and bravery to stand up to our enemies, but it takes just as much to stand up to our family, friends and colleagues.

Calling out inequitable themes, behaviors or actions is a must, in order for cultures to shift and change to an inclusive and welcoming environment.

Recognizing that the more we take a stand to speak up and out, and at times, on behalf of, those whose voice is often overlooked, ignored, or discounted, such as those marginalized in the community or in a workplace, we will begin to see a shift in these outcomes.

There’s a saying that goes, “Speak Your Truth” when we do this, we always use “I” statements and affirm how a situation or circumstance personally impacts or influences us to see things in a way that calls for more equitable access and outcomes.

Today’s Inclusive + Equitable™ Leaders act on guiding principles and use their moral compass, even when it means taking a chance or a risk. As a leader, you must know how to stand up for what is right rather than hiding in fear.

This doesn’t always guarantee that you won’t be afraid, but it does mean that you refuse to allow fear to stop you from doing what’s right. I believe this skill is like a muscle, the more you use it and develop it, you will see it grow from weak and limp to healthy and strong.

Although these are but a few of the traits and behaviors that shape Inclusive + Equitable™ Leaders, by beginning to focus and put action to these behaviors routinely, it will help you find your purpose and give voice to your war cry!

Watch the video below to see how a war cry sounds when it’s activated by disciplined faith and action.


As we all know it takes more than just knowing the traits and behaviors, it takes an intelligent strategy, commitment and a comprehensive plan.

Learning to apply concepts and models in your daily life, business and operations to build a more Inclusive + Equitable™ Leadership culture is key to growth in the 21st Century, contact us today to see how we can help you and / or your organization take it’s “War Cry” to next level.

Finally, I would like to give a special thank you to Gene Waddy, current CEO and Michael Pendleton and Carolyn Riddle Wenhold formerly of Diversant for inviting me to the breakfast and having me as a guest at their DFWTPB sponsored table!

MiShon Landry is CEO of Inclusive Leadership Institute dba Culture Consultants Culture ConsultantsWomen Owned Business {MWBE} Leadership, Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Firm Focused on Leading Change in Today’s Organizational Culture