The Leadership Imperative: From Belonging to Thriving

Dr Rick Goodman
3 min readFeb 5, 2024

Imagine a leader, not as a lone wolf at the top, but as a conductor, guiding a diverse orchestra of talent towards a shared goal. This is the leadership imperative of our time. Leaders need to create not just a place where people belong, but one where they thrive.

A 2023 Deloitte study reveals that 80% of employees who feel valued at work are more likely to thrive. But belonging isn’t a passive state; it’s an active process.

Keys for Leaders Who Move Beyond Belonging to Thriving:

Champion a Growth Mindset:

Belonging isn’t about fitting in; it’s about feeling empowered to grow and learn. Leaders can foster this by providing development opportunities, celebrating individual strengths, and encouraging risk-taking.

Embrace Vulnerability:

When leaders share their own challenges and imperfections, they create a safe space for others to do the same. This builds trust, strengthens connections, and allows everyone to learn from each other’s experiences.

Act as Architects of Psychological Safety:

Google’s Project Aristotle identified psychological safety as the number one factor contributing to team effectiveness. Leaders can cultivate this by actively listening, avoiding blame, and encouraging open communication.

Recognize and Celebrate Micro-Belonging Moments:

Belonging doesn’t happen overnight; it’s built through countless small interactions. Leaders can acknowledge these moments, from shared laughter to collaborative wins. This will help to reinforce a sense of connection and belonging for everyone.

Become Data-Driven Diversity Champions:

Tracking metrics like employee engagement, retention, and promotion rates across different demographics can reveal unconscious biases. This can guide decision-making towards a more inclusive culture.



Dr Rick Goodman

Leadership Expert at | Author The Solutions Oriented Leader | Motivational Keynote Speaker | Executive Coach, Life Coach, Team Building,