Meaningful Action Comes When Leaders Listen, Learn and Reflect
To say that we're living in challenging or uncertain times is a massive understatement - one that actually undermines the powerful realities of what's happened over the past few months. How does any police force in our country allow an officer with over a dozen citations or complaints of prior violent actions to be on the street? There are people in both the police force and police union who knew this officer had problems and should not be interacting with society.
This feels like a tragic failure of leadership at nearly every level. Despite my obvious frustrations, I do not agree with the violence, looting, arson, and additional killing of innocent people that have occurred since George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020. Rather, I subscribe to Gandhi's practice of nonviolent resistance which led the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule. He inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world, including the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now is the time for racial justice and reform, but the protests should be done peacefully. As part of that process, I've spent time in recent weeks reading about and listening to the stories and experiences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color). I needed to figure out how I can be a better ally to their struggle against systemic injustice in this country and around the world. In that time, I've come to the realization that I need to amplify more diverse voices in my quest to create more holistic and future-minded leaders. To that end, I want to share a quote from Harvard Business Review article titled "US Business Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism."
"Finally, take meaningful action: Make a strong public statement, donate to Black-owned businesses and social justice causes in your community, form a committee on racial justice and reform - there are countless ways to help build a better future. Find a few that align with your organization, and make a commitment to them. Racism isn't just Black people's problem, and inaction is a tacit endorsement of the status quo."
To be clear, I'm still learning, I want to keep learning, and I know that I don't have all the answers. But I do have a responsibility to speak to my audience with clarity and compassion about what's happening in our world. Ultimately, in the face of all the changes we're seeing across the planet, it is important to remain resilient and take other people's circumstances and feelings into account. Because if there's anything we all need right now, it's a heaping dose of empathy and combined with the willingness to listen to people outside of our circles of influence and comfort zones. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you about these issues, please reach out so we can begin a dialogue about what we can do to make a difference.