The ELLISON MODEL
Inclusive Leadership Framework
OUR PRAXIS SYSTEM
"Imagine becoming the right person in the right place at the right time for the right reasons." - Dr. Adrian N. Carter
Race is a social construct
to create differences between
the haves and the have nots.
Inclusive Leadership Framework
The Ellison Model Inclusive Leadership Framework provides three collective pathways to individuals and organizations seeking ways to strengthen their sense of belonging within the workplace. The specific knowledge base and skills include improving your Equity & Racial Intelligence (RI), Conflict Resolution Skills, and Leadership Acumen. The Ellison Model Institute for Equity & Inclusion offers an inclusive leadership certification using the framework.
Becoming an inclusive leader and organization requires the embodiment of the outcome you seek. Accordingly, the framework is always reflective and introspective and consistently works toward reframing the individual's disposition of the heart. The Ellison Model Inclusive Leadership Framework uses a transformative approach to move individuals and organizations from diversity to unity to an inclusive community.
"When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers."
- African Proverb
What is conflict?
If the world is constantly impacted by problems or conflict, living a solution-oriented life is a daily process.
The Carter Development Group defines problems as circumstances that create a temporary roadblock or challenge to achieving a goal. Problems, no matter the scope or breadth, also occurs when the objectives, methods, or attitudes of individuals or groups do not align with the relationship they have with others or themselves. Some problems are more intricate than others and require several layers of solutions to arrive at the alignment between parties. Note that problems do not necessarily indicate a conflict. I define conflict as using the problem as a gateway to demonstrate disparaging or prejudiced attitudes and behaviors toward others who share diverse perspectives. In using this definition, conflict occurs when individuals negatively use their vector of identity as a basis for responding to a problem. While we may all encounter problems daily, the disposition of the heart in approaching the solution to the problem determines whether or not it is a conflict.
We will always find conflict whenever the individual’s disposition of the heart is not aligned with inclusion, multicultural appreciation, mentorship, conflict resolution, and relationship building. Problems and conflicts, which lead to both minor and major injustices (discommunity building), mean that the interaction between human beings is no longer in alignment with the same goals, objectives, methods, and attitude. At this juncture, renewal, revolution, or movement back to a regulated balance or equilibrium of peace, understanding, and inclusion needs to reoccur.
This is why the emergence of the rightness of person, place, and time is critical in the 21st century. Having an inclusive community-building attitude is the difference-maker. Your emergence happens over time, circumstance by circumstance. Yet, in each situation, there is an opportunity to emerge as an Ellison Model agent with the right attitude. You may not physically see immediate results in your sphere of influence. However, maintaining an attitude of honor, trust, and respect provides the best experience for building sustaining relationships and communities.
When individuals who are internally conflicted come together in a group setting, the inevitable outcome is more conflict. Conflict may not only occur between members of the group, but decisions that are made out of a state of conflict will ostracize others who are not in the personal interest of the group members. For example, in the corporate setting of higher education, staff members from multiple student affairs and academic affairs departments meet to coordinate the commencement ceremony.
Leadership is found in your being and doing!
The Being of Leadership
Effective leadership results in growth and development for individuals and communities. It can be seen as maintaining a progressive mindset. Progress invigorates the human spirit and makes us feel alive. It is movement, action, and interaction that bring about a sense of accomplishment. In progress, we find ambition, creativity, innovation, and, most importantly, solutions. We measure success by progress.
On the other hand, stagnation is demotivating and unfulfilling. Stagnation attempts to kill the drive to learn, innovate, and solve. Stagnation in an individual’s life causes a reaction of flight (running from the challenge) or fight (engaging in the process to overcome and grow to the next level). This reminds me of the adage, “You don’t go through, you grow through.” Most individuals desire progress over stagnation (life over death), even in their most stagnate position, by taking leadership or expecting those in leadership positions to help move them forward. If not, hopes, dreams, and promises diminish (or die) for individuals and their communities. What is important about the need to survive is ensuring that an inclusive community building approach, and not just personal gain, motivates the individual toward progress.
The Doing of Leadership
Leadership is a conglomerate of skills set in motion to fulfill a goal or purpose. What leadership does is effectively execute any of these skills at the appropriate time. These skills include effective written and verbal communication, taking initiative, organizing, time management, negotiating, analyzing, synthesizing, delegating, being proficient with technology, actively listening, problem-solving, having intellectual and emotional intelligence, envisioning, modeling, and many more skills deemed necessary to survive. Leaders become leaders by building the capacity of the leadership organism in them through a relationship with the conglomerate of leadership skills. By performing these skills (or doing), we view the person as a leader. This brings us to what leaders ultimately do:
Include others in the process to make informed decisions.
Appreciate and recognize the merits of differing points of view.
Seek out the counsel of mentors at the micro and macro levels.
Resolve their internal conflicts and help to resolve external conflicts using methods that promote trust, honor, and respect.
Build sustainable and meaningful relationships with self and others.