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Inclusion and The Four Dimensions of Leadership

Ever feel excluded from a key meeting or social gathering? Feels pretty bad doesn’t it?

It may bring back memories of what it felt like to be picked last on the playground team, or be excluded from the party. Nothing feels good about it.

You may rationalize and tell yourself you had other things to do anyway, or don’t really care about “their silly game” or boring meeting, but in reality—being excluded sucks.

Dr. Charles Pellerin, the creator of 4-D (Four-Dimensional) Systems for Leaders and the author of “How NASA builds teams” has a simple yet powerful model for leaders.

In his 4-D System for Leaders, he says it is important to:

1. Appreciate people

2. Create a strong vision of where you are going

3. Include the right people in your project

4. Direct through clear roles and responsibilities

As you can see, “Including the right people” is so important for leaders and teams that he “included” it in his criteria for the 4 dimensions of leadership.

In fact, he states that excluding key people from providing input or over-including people can hurt your chances of success with a project.

The more complex the project, the more important it is to involve “key players” for their insight and expertise in projects.

If people know why they are included and you ask for their feedback (and actually listen to them), they will be engaged and ready to help that project leader reach their goals.

However, if you forget someone, then the project team could suffer from:

● Old data

● Poor information

● An outdated way of doing things

Excluding the wrong people could cause a team to miss out on valuable insight from the people who should be in the room.

Dr. Pellerin knows a lot about

leadership and teams. In fact, he has a great deal of experience studying how and why projects fail or succeed, in general.

He began his career as a bench engineer and later served as Director of Astrophysics, at NASA. During his 30 year career, he oversaw 12 satellite launches, including the Hubble Space Telescope.

When a flawed mirror on Hubble prevented the telescope from performing, he launched a successful space repair mission for which he was awarded a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.

Before retiring from the Agency in 1995, he also received NASA’s highest honor—the Distinguished Service Medal.

Since that time, the Hubble review board identified failed leadership as the root cause of the telescope’s failure. From there, Pellerin began an intensive inquiry into the effects of social factors on project success.

As a consultant to NASA, accounting firms, and aerospace companies, he has developed a “four-dimensional” approach to measuring and improving the effectiveness of:

– Project leadership

– Project culture

– Organization interfaces.

Dr. Pellerin’s research shows that an effective and inclusive leader builds strong relationships. They handle complexity so well because they already know they must include all the right moving parts in order to solve problems.

According to Dr. Pellerin’s research, the most effective leaders:

● Are caring

● Give credit to others

● Build loyal, cooperative teams

Are you an effective leader? Do you agree with the 4-D approach to team building and leadership? Feel free to share what makes your team so successful in the comments section below!

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