Stumbling Towards Inclusion

Finding Grace in Imperfect Leadership

Using experiences culled from working with hundreds of organizations and C-Suite executives, Dr. Priya Nalkur proposes that most leaders want to promote DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives—but they don't know how to chart their way through the nuanced, complex topics. Confronting head-on these anxieties about saying the right words or getting things wrong, Nalkur compresses her wisdom and ideas from years of coaching in a way that is accessible, empathetic, and just as concerned with the individual as with systemic issues.

Presenting a rubric of usable, pragmatic touchpoints and vignettes, Nalkur blends personal history, the social sciences, and leadership in order to speak to both allies and those in historically underrepresented groups. This judgment-free space allows all readers a place of grace and a seat at the table. Ultimately, Stumbling Towards Inclusion tackles the hard stuff without accusation, and always with the intent of opening hearts and minds for positive social advancement.

ISBN: 978-1-63755-882-9
SKU: 18-1184-01
Categories:New Releases, Amplify Publishing, Business and Finance, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Leadership and Management

“If you are looking for a place to begin or a catalyst to deepen your learning as an inclusive leader, this is it. Moving, practical, and comprehensive, Stumbling Towards Inclusion brings the powerful coaching and lived experience of Priya Nalkur to life.”

—DOLLY CHUGH, professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, and author of The Person You Mean to Be and A More Just Future

“Catalyze your ability to lead through inclusivity! Through this book, Priya shines a light on how to practically connect, empathize, learn, and build upon your own humanity, and to transform it into your source of power for positive change.”


“Dr. Priya Nalkur’s book is a leadership game-changer. As a beneficiary of her insightful coaching, skillfully penned in this book, she unveils the essence of inclusive leadership—embrace your values, lead with empathy, celebrate our differences, and watch the profound impact ripple through your surroundings. A must-read for those aspiring to lead with authenticity and inclusivity!”

—ABBAS KAZIMI, Chief Business Officer, Nimbus Therapeutics

“Dr. Nalkur strikes the difficult balance of exposing us to our growth edge without triggering our defensiveness or shame response. As a result, readers can openly engage with the insights to maximize reflection and learning, instead of protecting our own fragility.”

—BEN OLDS, Managing Partner, HAVEN Human Assets

“This book proves that Priya truly practices what she preaches: intelligence, common sense, and understanding of inclusiveness delivered in a warm, kind, inviting way. Reading the book made me feel like I was having a magical one-on-one coaching session with Priya, where every minute I feel like I learn something new that ultimately makes me feel better. I kept saying out loud, ‘Yes,’ ‘That’s right,’ and ‘So true!’ while reading that my kids thought I was having a conversation with someone! I bet you’ll do the same, so don’t miss out.”

—LAKSHMI BALACHANDRA, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College

“Priya Nalkur brings insight, wisdom, and a generosity of spirit to one of the most important challenges of our time. Engaging and beautifully written, this book takes us on a journey to become inclusive leaders—a crooked path that requires both failure and forgiveness. You won’t be able to put it down!”

—MARTHA FREYMANN MISER, Ph.D., founder and president, Aduro Consulting, LLC

“Becoming a more inclusive leader is a challenge that’s both timely and evergreen. Priya does a remarkable job of highlighting the urgency for making powerful, positive change while also making the case for improvement despite our inevitable (and very human) missteps and mistakes along the way. This is a must-read for anyone in a current or future leadership role.”

—DEBORAH GRAYSON RIEGEL, author of Go to Help: 31 Strategies to Offer, Ask For, and Accept Help

“The principles of leadership and inclusivity in this book have revolutionized our company’s culture. I was so impressed with Dr. Nalkur and her approach that I hired her to teach JEDI for Leaders© to our entire company nationally, across multiple field offices. Her safe yet challenging method of teaching these concepts had an amazing impact on the way our company communicates. Priya made a lasting change in our corporate culture.”

—JONATHAN CROSS, CEO of Cross Financial Corporation

“Dr. Priya Nalkur makes the concepts of inclusive leadership accessible and easy to understand. This book based on truth-telling is a necessary read!”

—DEEPA PURUSHOTHAMAN, author of The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America

“Any individual’s journey towards inclusive leadership is never a straight line and is filled with humbling lessons along the way. An organization’s journey is even more complex and intertwined with the lessons learned (or not learned) by its individuals. Priya Nalkur has been an impactful guide for our organization for nearly five years—this book now allows more leaders to access her knowledge and practical tools for their own journey towards inclusive leadership.”

—AREMIN HACOBIAN, Head of Organizational Health and Development, Third Rock Ventures

“At a time when courageous, authentic voices are vitally needed, Dr. Priya Nalkur’s Stumbling Towards Inclusion is here to assist leaders in advancing equity, recognizing the headwinds and tailwinds ahead. Filled with reflections from her expansive experiences in academia and consulting, Stumbling Towards Inclusion embraces vulnerability as an essential building block of inclusive leadership. Priya challenges us to listen, speak, and stand alongside our colleagues as allies with the ultimate goal of making our workplaces and communities more inclusive and welcoming. Abundant with humility and grace, Priya’s voice is a welcome companion to the critical and essential Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work that this moment calls for.”

—RICHARD J. REDDICK, Ed.D., Distinguished Service Professor, Senior Vice Provost and Dean of the Undergraduate College, The University of Texas at Austin and author of Restorative Resistance in Higher Education: Leading in an Era of Racial Awakening and Reckoning

Stumbling Towards Inclusion is the guide every leader needs. Using her experience and authority, Dr. Priya Nalkur provides the practical tools necessary to change the status quo and create safe spaces for everyone."

—MEL ROBBINS, bestselling author and host of the award-winning Mel Robbins Podcast

Priya Nalkur

DEI Executive and Leadership Coach

Dr. Priya Nalkur is the president of the RoundTable Institute, a research and coaching firm dedicated to developing inclusive leaders, communities, and workplaces. She is the creator of the JEDI Leadership Development Series,© a training program that has helped thousands of leaders around the world realize their leadership potential. A Harvard- and Yale-educated psychologist, she is an expert in dialogue, facilitation, motivation, and coaching. Priya finds inspiration in her fearless girlfriends, long hikes and mountain climbs, kitchen dance parties with her two children, and beautiful, adventurous writing.