Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us

By Greg Jenkins, Greg Jenkins Consulting and Co-Leader, IAC Leadership Council 

There are scores of books, articles and blogs on diversity and inclusion. Each of them in their own way explains the value of those topics and their impact on such things as leadership, business and governance. There are many well-written books on the subject, and the authors expound upon the benefits and features of diversity and inclusion – and that’s great!

These “diversity and inclusion” authors are usually well known and respected in the diversity, equity and inclusion space. In many cases, these same diversity and inclusion authors also serve as professional consultants and partner with an array of leaders and organizations who also want to benefit from the value of diversity and inclusion for their own workplaces, workforces or marketplaces.

However, the unusual thing about Radical Inclusion is that its authors are not from the usual diversity and inclusion community, and I find that very encouraging!

The authors, Martin Dempsey and Ori Brafman, come from completely different backgrounds which in itself is a wonderful example of an inclusive partnership. General Martin Dempsey, among his many achievements, is a retired 4-star U.S. Army General. His 41-year career spans leadership roles from small military units of 40+ members, all the way to the highest uniformed military position of the Department of Defense, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff.

Professor Ori Brafman can also boast a long list of accomplishments. He is a distinguished professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, researcher and entrepreneur who has authored a number of best-selling leadership and business books.

Dempsey and Brafman present a number of key points in Radical Inclusion, with their greatest emphasis focused squarely at leaders with team- and coalition-building responsibilities, goals and objectives. However, anyone can learn from their research and life and career examples of inclusion, and more importantly, why inclusion matters more today than ever before.

Dempsey and Brafman posit that today’s leaders are in competition for the trust and confidence of those they lead more than ever. They assert that the nature of power is changing and should not be measured by degrees of control alone. They offer principles for adaptation and bring them to life with examples of from business, academia, government and the military.

Three interesting points are made in the book:

  • Radical Inclusion – “We are arguing that in these times of complexity, speed and scrutiny, the best solutions, the most affordable solutions, the most enduring solutions will be the product of inclusion.” – Dempsey & Brafman
  • The Digital Echo – “The speed and accessibility of information create “digital echoes” that make facts vulnerable, eroding the trust between leader and follower.” – Dempsey & Brafman
  • Relinquishing Control to Preserve Power – “Relinquishing control to build and sustain power feels counterintuitive, but in fact it has less to do with a leader losing power and more to do with how an organization shares knowledge and builds trust.” – Dempsey & Brafman 

It’s precisely why this almost “out of nowhere” book about inclusion from two highly successful people NOT from diversity and inclusion backgrounds excites me the most. As a consultant and author, I also work hard to help leaders and organizations understand the value of diversity and inclusion. One of my constant challenges is finding other inclusive, highly successful leaders like Dempsey and Brafman who just “get it”. It’s those kinds of inclusive leaders who represent the greatest examples of inclusive leadership for others to emulate.

Diversity and inclusion professionals who just “get it” are easy to find but what’s harder to identify are successful, inclusive, senior leaders, like Dempsey and Brafman who not only will write a compelling, researched-based book on inclusion, but are also on the TV news circuits taking their inclusive message to the nation.

This book can help every diversity and inclusion professional out there. It further validates and supports the diversity and inclusion message that all of my fellow colleagues work hard at every day promoting and supporting. Whether you’re a diversity and inclusion professional, a seasoned or new leader or someone wishing to learn more about the amazing impact of inclusion, this book will add to your repertoire and more importantly your depth of knowledge on inclusion. Why Radical Inclusion? Because exclusion is polarizing, more expensive, produces less, and doesn’t last.

Anyone interested in purchasing, Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership, can find the book and reviews at –