Challenge Paradigms.
Change Perspectives.

Tags

My sadness about what is happening in America at the moment is deep and complex, as I’m sure yours is. I’m sad about the looting, the chaos, and the suffering it has caused. I’m sad—very sad—about the event that triggered it. I’m sad about the inherent inequities in our society that give rise to these events. It’s easy to point fingers in times like this—fingers at the police, fingers at the looters, fingers at the government, fingers at society.

But I find the most effective leadership response in a moment of crisis is to question myself.

How might I be allowing the image of other people—the way I see them at first glance—to influence or limit the way I experience their true identity as human-beings? I’m judgmental about the way people behave and the choices they make. But how might I be judgmental about people’s immutable characteristics, things they never chose?

I don’t consider myself to be racist. None of us consider ourselves to be racist or even biased. But how and where might I be wrong about myself? Do I seek people who are different from me, not just in how they look to the world but also in how they see and perceive the world? Do I learn from them and do I respect them in the way I respect anyone who teaches me? How am I experienced by others? Am I being truly inclusive? Or am I being patronizing? Do I elicit the opinions of people who I know have different perspectives from my own? How defensive do I become around people who question my perspectives?

There was a time when I thought that I could change the world. Then I realized I would be fortunate if I was able to change my country. As I grew older, I realized that wasn’t very likely. But if I could just change my community, that would be amazing. And then as I grew even older, I realized I would be fortunate if I could just change my family.

But now I realize the only entity over whom I truly have the power to affect change is myself. By changing myself, I can make changes in society. If I become more authentically open to difference, I will broaden my own perspectives. Subsequently, I’ll change myself, and from there I will affect change in the people around me and in the world.

To learn about how to Lead in the Moment during times of crisis, click here.

May 19, 2020 | By David Lapin

To navigate the COVID-19 crisis and global lockdown and to help our people through it, we have had to draw on new and deeper resources within us and practice leadership skills we were never taught. No…

March 15, 2019 | By David Lapin

Companies spend a fortune to overcome resistance to change, both externally in the form of marketing, and internally in the form of change management. But is this effort all founded on a serious misco…

August 30, 2019 | By Erin Clymer-Lessard

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell shares the story of the Getty museum’s kouros statue, a sixth century BC sculpture purchased in the early 1980s for $10 million (which would be just shy of $26 mil…

February 10, 2019 | By David Lapin

Leadership Development Programs can dilute the impact of high-performing leaders and companies, and achieve little or even negative returns on investment. Businesses need to compete; they need to opti…