March 2008, Candidate Obama had to give a major speech on race relations. Not because of something he did or said, but because his Pastor made a statement that the media played incessantly for days.
As President, he was met with criticism for speaking up in instances relating to injustice. Said by many that he should keep quiet as to avoid politicizing referenced events. I suppose many (then) were saying “stay in your lane.”
Nearly a decade later Candidate Trump. He made a number of disparaging remarks — not Obama’s Pastor. As President, he continues to speak and tweet in ways that perplexes some of his most loyal supporters. He too is being criticized.
Yet, this isn’t a dump on Trump piece because that would be predictable. I’m instead curious as to how HR, Sourcing, and Recruiting folks handle Leaders aiming to control movement, rights or voices of those we represent?
Important because in addition to the knees being taken and teams sitting in respective locker rooms, there are millions facing inequity in the workplace. Perhaps your workplace should be the center of your attention and not the NFL.
None of this is about an anthem or flag, rather about how one exhibit’s amplification and/or empathy to injustice. Any injustice. Are you able to be open – even vulnerable, as to what colleagues and employees are experiencing? Are you willing to sacrifice for the greater good? Do you know what the greater good is any longer?
Do you speak up when toxic leaders are trying to sabotage an outspoken performers’ ascension or blackball the assistant in the firm? Think Uber and how now they are forced to rebuild their culture due to poor judgement of toxic leaders. Remember we are the frontline.
Do you turn to social media spewing; a selfish position, categorizing people as “sons of bitches”, ungrateful, or that they should shut up and work for nickels, dimes, and quarters less than their male counterparts? You know, that old “just be happy you have a job posture.”
To be clear, I’m not myopic. I see dissenting views as opportunities for discourse, but I do so with aim, caution and intent. From what I’ve seen there are a many in our space that are supportive of nuclear engagement and toxic leadership styles.
I’m thankful that I can say no when I sense a company or person of this ilk. Thankful, I have the option of working with leaders willing to explore bonding capital, make monumental speeches, and/or give space to the reality of our day to day. I suspect many of you have that option as well.
Question is, who are you in your workplace? On that conference stage directing our attention to slides of best practices, data, and infographics, who are you? As part of the hiring team responsible for diversity with a slate of quality unusual talent, who are you?
Once we’ve bettered personally, we are then better professionally. Because in lifes’ hierarchy, you are a person before anything else. Even biblically, you are a person before a spiritual being. A better person is of the utmost importance in all that we do.
Diversity Strategist – Interview Architect – Engaging and Spirited. Creative, high voltage practitioner accustomed to pursuit of results. Author of Rip The Resume and creator of Monday Mover on the Karen Hunter Show, SiriusXM, channel 126.
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