This week I’m trying something different. There will be a series of guest blogposts every other day from a good friend doing amazing work. I met Mo through Seth Godin’s Akimbo workshops – two aid workers in marketing workshops. Odd, but also instant connection. We’ve never met in person, but every time we talk I’m left pondering for over a week. Today is Mo.
The world isn’t right at the moment. It’s in turmoil. There are no signs on doors or windows saying we’re not welcome. Racial divides exist but in a more invisible way than for your grandparents. Things have improved since then – but the exploitation of our ancestors has passed down the family tree. Perhaps by systems or individuals, perhaps by accident.
The statistics about us show the disparity – we are not C-suite executives, we are not on boards, we are not in as many senior management roles we should be. Perhaps we have inhibited ourselves, by aiming too low. Perhaps we’ve been subservient and focused on ‘working hard’ because of the mantra of our ancestors. Keep your head down is what I used to hear. What is clear is that the race divides still exist.
We may have thought it was part of our past, but it’s part of our present – and doesn’t have to be part of our future.
Some of us are activists, some of us keep our heads down; some of us are part of the system, others bend or break the system. All of these are right. Nothing is wrong. There should be no , ‘I should have been involved’. What feels right to you is right. And let’s be honest with ourselves it’s hard to be ‘that person’ to speak up.
But you can change the system, little by little, and you can also grow as a person, as well as help others around you to grow. The status quo does not have to remain the same. We have the ability to imagine a better future.
Our time to be leaders is now. The platform is me. And I hope to show you the same – that you are your own platform for change. And yes it’s hard. It’s hard because courageous uncomfortable conversations are hard. But you will not be alone.
What can we imagine in our better future? What if there are more people of colour as leaders? What if the world is fairer and more equitable? What if we accept our past and pave a new future?
These are questions we can answer now.
I promise you that I will do my best to blend, bend and break ideas to create new ones, so that when you read this you will know humanity did change. Humanity became better.
Courage. Humility. Humour. I hope that these aspects of leadership bring about change. And that they are characteristics that grow within you.
One step is better than none.
Five steps starts creating momentum.
When you read this in 15 years, you will look back and I hope you can say, ‘Wow, things have changed.’
Mo is one of the hosts of The Innovation, which helps people grow their mindset to make change happen. He also facilitates two workshops called Unleashing your inner leader and Anti-racism essentials.