Answering Tough Questions #11



Question:  What is the greatest challenge facing most organizations as it relates to Diversity?


I have thought about this a lot, and I think that the greatest challenge to any worthwhile effort or cause in the world is having each individual step up in a responsible way and do his or her best to make the right things happen.


You may not be able to affect your entire organization, but you can affect what you have responsibility for, whether you are a leader or not.  If you are a leader, and I mean this in regard to using your influence in a positive way, then you can affect diversity by being supportive and by making sure that you speak up when someone is doing the wrong thing, such as telling an inappropriate joke or making someone feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.  You can even report it.


If you are in a management position, you can make a huge impact by being on the lookout for diverse candidates inside your organzization and outside your organization.


You can make sure that you spot candidates with potential and then help them along with encouragement, with training, with coaching, with candid feedback, with preparing for an interview, by overcoming barriers, and on and on.


You can stand up and tell people what you believe about this subject.  Go on the record.  You cannot be silent on this issue.  You either support it or you don’t.  Everyone knows where you stand already by your attitude and actions.


Great Leaders are great  role-models . . . so make sure that you are modeling the right behaviors and setting the right example in the area of diversity.  Do not underestimate your personal power and influence in this area, just as in all areas that YOU lead.


If you don’t Respect, Appreciate, and Value Everyone and watch what you say and do, your professional reputation and credibility will be in poor shape on this subject . . . and your team members will not respect you or trust you.


If all managers in your organization discovered just one diverse candidate and got him or her ready for more responsibility to step into management, your organization would be in great shape.


So I think it is clear that if we all step up and pay attention to this subject, then YOU could do even better than YOU are already doing.  You don’t need a lot of fancy programs to make big strides in having a diverse workplace.  You just need every leader to take a hard look at his or her own personal performance in this area.


I can tell you that I have a list a mile long of diverse candidates that I have helped . . . either get ready or helped get through some of the barriers to achieve a management position . . . by using my leadership position, my influence, and my time in a positive way—and I can name them, can you?   . . . Lee  

 Great Leaders Look for the Better Way Every Day!!!!!

1 Comment
  1. What is the greatest challenge? Never stereotype people , I use to pride myself on my ability to “Size Up” someone up in a very short span but as time went on I found that if you give most people a chance they will surprise you with there results. Most not all.

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