Each day when I go for my walk, I see this sign:
It makes me stop and think, “We really are all in this together, aren’t we?” None of us want our friends and neighbors to get sick, or worse, to die. We all want what is best for all of us, don’t we?
I encourage you on this Fourth of July to consider the many values, beliefs, and hopes that we have which unite us as a nation and as a community.
We are indeed, all in this together. Happy Fourth of July!
“Let’s make this a parade, not a protest,” said Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson, in Flint, Michigan. He put down his baton and helmet and joined protestors, making it a peaceful act of solidarity. The crowd, as seen here, started chanting, “Walk with Us.”
That is leadership. It’s in the moment, it unifies people, and it’s authentic. Sometimes it involves fear, and Chris Swanson may have felt fear, not knowing how the crowd would react. Nevertheless, it’s responding with the heart. Chris would not have been able to demonstrate such leadership if he didn’t care deeply about his community and ALL of its residents.
We must stop saying we are sorry, and then continue to live and work in the same way. Apologies are not enough and action is needed in our homes, our boardrooms, and our communities. If you, like me, want to create positive change, here are things you can do in the workplace right now to create a world where all employees are hired, rewarded, and respected, regardless of their ethnicity, gender preferences, or religion.
Create Ongoing Diversity Initiatives
The key word here is “ongoing.” Diversity isn’t about a two-hour program held once a year. It’s an ongoing process and a culture of inclusion and equity. Create a high-level diversity and inclusion task force, and be certain that senior members of the organization are committed to the task force and devoted to the cause. Provide both financial resources and workplace time. Enact what the task force recommends.
Review Hiring Practices
Create a process for reviewing applications that is race and gender blind. Have someone outside of the hiring process remove indicators of race and gender. (This may include the type of college the person attended, the fraternities to which they belonged, and sometimes their name and address.) Keep only their true credentials which would include GPA, previous work history, and letters of recommendation.
Initiate discussions of race during interviews. This doesn’t mean asking a candidate about their race and ethnicity (or making illegal assumptions about either). Ask questions that allow the candidate to share their opinion about racial issues such as, “What have your previous employers done to create an inclusive work environment? How did that shape your experience there?” And if you choose to ask questions such as these, be certain to ask them of all candidates, not just those who are nonwhite!
Don’t Think You Are Powerless!
All of us must find ways to talk about and create inclusivity, safety, and peace for all. Look at our role models here:
We all have a voice. Please tell me what you are doing in your community and in your workplace to respond to this national challenge. It will be inspiring!
A few weeks ago I said to my husband Bill, “The pandemic may go on for a long time. What do you want to remember about this time? What do you want to feel good about years from now?” This is what it’s like to live with a professional speaker and coach — at times, very annoying.
Then I ran across this meme online, and I thought about the question again:
Goal setting has been on my mind. I have been reading Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear. According to Clear, it’s actually best if we establish systems rather than set goals. Goals are an endpoint, and you may or may not ever achieve them. A system is a set of habits or actions taken in pursuit of the goal. As evidenced by the meme, sometimes goals are not completely within our control!
However, systems and habits are reachable and within our control. And even if we don’t reach all of our goals, if we establish great systems, our lives will be better.
Goal: Have fewer cavities.
System: Brush and floss twice a day
Likely result: The system will lead to better oral hygiene. The goal may or may not be realized.
Goal: Run a marathon in 2020.
System: Run every day following a training plan.
Likely result: Improved health and stamina, likely prepared to run a marathon.
Goal: Lose 5 pounds during quarantine.
System: Eat cut-up veggies every time I am hungry and it’s not meal time.
Likely result: Better health, more vegetables eaten, will likely lose some weight.
We cannot control outcomes, but we can control the process. Making a 1% improvement every day will create long-term habits and a better life. but don’t take my word for it, take it from James Clear!
What is the next system you will put in place to improve your life?