Newsletter: Who do we want to be?
The summer is concluding as it started, with a period of heightened social unrest in the pursuit of racial justice. There are so many important messages to explore. The peaceful protesters, including the professional athletes who have used their platforms to call attention to these issues, are asking us collectively: who are we, and who do we want to be?
While those questions are being posed to our nation, I also believe we should be asking them of ourselves and our teams. Exploring yourself and your various affiliations gets to your culture – the current one and the culture you may want to build around yourself. I’ve spent the last few months discussing organizational culture and racial justice with the various groups that touch my life – from my work colleagues and our children’s schools, to the nonprofits I support and our church. In each conversation, I have tried to listen, learn, and work with others on identifying areas for growth, without judgement.
During those discussions, I stumbled upon the rare thing that is more easily done remotely – speaking up. Apparently being voices at the ends of a metaphorical phone line or equally sized squares on a Zoom screen levels the discussion in new, rewarding ways. For instance, every strategy session we have facilitated remotely has resulted in valuable input from junior members of our clients’ teams and others who would have been the least likely to speak in person. Please take advantage of this phenomenon. Solicit the opinion of someone whose perspective has been underrepresented. Get curious about someone else’s experience. Even those small steps will point us in the right direction by reinforcing the benefits of diverse engagement and making clear that no group or person has all the answers. Isn’t that who we aspire to be?
Precious Williams Owodunni | President & Founder of Mountaintop Consulting
This letter was originally published in Mountaintop Consulting’s monthly newsletter. You can read the full newsletter here.
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