It’s Time For Change, Positive Change
We’re a few weeks now from our most recent Presidential Election in the United States, and it seems fair to say that there were some lessons in the 24-month election cycle and the way the election turned out in early November. I don’t want to get all political here, but the election got me to thinking about change, and about how we might be able to rally together and provide some leadership from our roles as business leaders to affect some positive, constructive changes in our business climate and in our larger society. Here are some changes I believe would be positive in our current world.
Greater Tolerance & Diversity – A workforce that is too homogenous will stagnate and become infected by groupthink. I believe that as leaders, we need to encourage, demand, and ensure diversity in our workgroups. I’m not just talking about gender diversity, or just about racial diversity, here. While those are certainly important and essential, I’m talking about going a level deeper, and introducing into our teams a handful of individuals who THINK differently, speak differently, communicate differently, and decide how to solve problems differently. The research that I’ve reviewed suggests that diverse teams outperform homogenous teams by a wide margin. While diversity is a great start, it won’t have nearly the impact it can have if we insist as leaders upon ensuring that our teams operate with greater tolerance for diverse opinions and alternative approaches. This again, is critical for gender and racial situations, but it goes deeper than that in business. Everyone in every business should be encouraged and challenged to reflect and to treat the others in their business environments with respect and tolerance. I’ve seen too much disrespect and disregard in my business career, and the companies where those things were tolerated did it overtly or under the radar. Either way, the effects were hideous upon the teamwork, or lack of teamwork that it led to. We can do better…
Equal Footing – I’m hoping that a significant number of you out there are concerned with the archaic traditions of treating women and girls in our society like they’re not full citizens or full members of the team. Frankly, some of the very brightest and innovative people I’ve worked with in my career were talented females. They worked hard and sacrificed and delivered results. They deserve a seat at the table, and the time is long overdue that women are represented on leadership teams and on executive boards in proportion to their numbers in our society. My wife is a very talented executive, and I’ve watched how she has had to fight against the institutional discounting of women that happens in the marketplace. The time has come to see women represented in the high technology industry, in management and leadership positions, and in government in numbers that make sense. The truth is that female leaders increase the chances that your business will enjoy success. I suspect that having more women in leadership roles in government will increase the effectiveness of our government leadership dramatically as well. We can do better….
From my view of the world, things continue to get better, and they continue to get worse. I guess that’s the way of things, isn’t it? Still, I believe with a bit of reflection, and with a bit of renewed focus on fixing some problems that have hung around for decades longer than they should have, we can make our businesses perform better and make the world a better place in which to do business. Don’t we have an obligation to do that? Of course, we do. Let’s get on it!
Michael is a frequent blogger and thought leader on business and leadership issues. Michael runs Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting, a Minnesota based business coaching and consulting firm that helps CEOs, their C-Suite Executives, and their Emerging Leaders to develop greater leadership ability and to run more profitable businesses that increase in value. Michael would love to hear what you think about these two issues and any others that you think are long overdue for some remedial repairs. If you would like to read more of Michael’s articles, visit www.michaelbeachcoach.com and navigate to Ask The Coach…
Interested in building your leadership skills to help grow your business and guide your team to success, as well as meeting other local business executives? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our next Business Network Book Club next Friday, December 16, 2016 in Burnsville, MN. This month we will also be doing a little racing following, at ProKart Indoor Racing! Hope to see you there!