MIAMI – Leaders can best inspire people by sharing their ideas in ways that have resonance among their colleagues. That can be challenging as more seek personal meaning and fulfillment from what they do at work.

“The most important traits for a leader are, number one: vision, and having that clarity and being able to rally people behind that vision,” Remi Kent, chief marketing officer at Progressive Insurance, said in this interview with consultant Joanna O’Connell at the Possible event. “You need to make smart choices so that people feel like your vision is achievable, and they know how to get there.”

As much progress as women have made in the workplace in the post-War era, they still often face different expectations based on traditional ideas of male or female characteristics. These different styles also must be considered.

“Sometimes with women, there’s a strong vision; there’s a strong point of view,” Kent said. “When that’s expressed, it’s often categorized as aggressive, overly pushy. In my case, I get ‘strong or angry black woman.’ We need to stop allowing that storytelling to take place.”

Diversity, equity and inclusion is the latest label for ongoing efforts to end bigotry, bring marginalized people into the mainstream and pay different people the same amount for the same people. Businesses today are evaluated on these efforts and their environmental, social and governance policies.

“We talk about DEI a lot, but I really like to talk about it as a business imperative,” Kent said, “because it’s really another strategy or a way to win. It’s not this side thing that you do because it’s right, you do it because you need to really represent the consumers and the customers that you want to attract.”

You’re watching “The Best of the Badass Bosses,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series, presented by Integral Ad Science. This interview was filmed at POSSIBLE 2023 in Miami. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.