A new story from Dose of Leadership
On purpose. Where did you get that term way maker? I've heard that, but is there some historical origin behind way maker or is that? Well, it's in the Bible. Oh, there we go. So yeah, I was right. There is a story connection. Yeah. Well, I heard you tell a story about a vine earlier. And I picked up on that in one of your videos, but way maker. Yes, okay, so yes, our elder way maker, yes. Okay, there we go. I'm taking away. There we go, making the way. So biblical, but you were going somewhere else with that story. Not only biblical, but. It's not only biblical, it's also practical. You know, I think we don't get anywhere alone at the end of the day. When we're able to succeed and make amazing things happen with our creativity and our talents and our experiences, we do that not only by our own merit, but because other people see the potential in us. And they make that connection maybe that we needed to be made or again, they opened that door or they figure out what's in the way, what's standing between us and our dreams. And they collaborate with us to remove those blockages. And so we've all had way makers, many of us have had the opportunity to be one and what I'm essentially doing is inviting many more people in workplaces to make a way for many more people. And really work. And when we say many more people, really being, I'm assuming you're saying diversity and also being open to new ideas because typically when you look at successful companies, they're usually successful over decades because of their ability to adapt and change, right? It's not that they just made the same widget over and over for 200 years, right? Absolutely. You know, when we talk about what's happening in the workplace today and of course diversity, equity and inclusion has been a big topic over the last several years. We're really, we've really not made the kind of progress we say we want to make. And I believe that's because we sometimes spend too much time talking about it as a theory. Talking about it as a strategy or a set of, I'll say tactics. And we forget the human element of this, that people implement systems that people, right? Practice policies that people hold up our ideals. And live out our values. And so I believe that if more people were equipped and inspired to lead in ways that create more opportunity for those who have been left behind for those who have been historically advantaged, that we would have more open pathways to the equitable workplace we say we want. So absolutely, it's not only about, hey, everybody deserves an opportunity to be their best and to do their best inside the workplace. But the more we enable that, the more to your point, views we have on a business problem, right? The more angles we can look at opportunities through and ultimately create, I believe, more vibrant outcomes for our businesses and for the people that we serve. So in a culture and I think we could take certainly you work in the business culture space. But I think culturally, even in any culture, I guess what's the big blocks to not being more diverse? Is it just ingrained historical? This is the way it's always been or what do you run into when you're dealing with organizations and communities? Yeah, there are a few reasons why I believe we're stuck. I think the first is that culture exists on three levels. You have the claim, the policy and the norm. So the claim is what we say about ourselves, the policy, you know, the rules we put in place to reinforce those claims. But then the norms are really how we show up every single day. The choices we make, the behaviors we exhibit, I think sometimes we stop at claim and then policy and we don't really fully investigate or interrogate our norms and hold ourselves to new norms that might create more opportunity. I think another thing happening here is we tend to mind our own business a lot. You know, we may see something happening over to the left that we think is a little off or could be handled differently, but we're so good inside our workplaces and just saying, well, that's not my business. That's my peers business. I'm going to let them deal with that. And for everything we notice and don't say anything about, there's an opportunity loss. There's an insight that somebody is not able to gain. And then the other thing at play here is really about power. I mean, let's be honest, in any given entity, there are people in the center who hold most of the power. And in the middle, you have the insight, which is sometimes unwritten rules, sacred cows. You have access, you know, to power networks, to knowledge centers, and you have opportunity. And all that good stuff is in the center held by the people who have the power and the only folks who normally intuitively benefit from that are those who most closely reflect those in power because those are the people we surround ourselves with naturally every single day. So if you're very different from the people in power, then you're really far removed from that insight access and opportunity. And we all need those things in order to create and sustain healthy careers. So can you give us an example of, I guess, kind of a company or a community or an organization you worked with that kind of here was kind of where they were at so we can be clear. Here's kind of where they were at. Here's where they were stuck and then here's actually what they did to kind of like a mini case study if that's okay. Yeah, for sure. Of so that we can start to have an understanding because I'm trying to get it clear in my own mind. Okay, how would in the organizations I'm involved in? How would we be? Yeah, how does it translate? How does it translate? For sure. So there are three main steps and I'll share with you a case study through this example. So the first is what I just called to embrace realism. And what that means to me is getting an honest assessment of your current workplace culture today. So companies can look at their existing data, their pay data, their promotion data, their retention data, their exit data, to try to understand how equitable or inclusive they are at the moment. But they should also get a better sense of the employee experience.