When you are around happy and funny people it is easier to be happy. Even a sunny day after several cloudy days can put a smile on my face.
Our Energy as a Leader is Contagious.
Leaders who have confidence even facing difficulty will nurture confidence in others. It needs to be rational confidence. But every cloud has a silver lining that can be called out.
One of my Asian clients was discussing the multiple challenges the US is facing. He said, “The United States always finds a way. Remember the 1980’s when people thought Japan was going to become a larger economy than the USA?” He provided perspective.
We have learned that many people can work well at home and sometimes better. We will forever restructure how work gets done based on what we have learned.
Look for Opportunity
Help your team look for change opportunities. I heard an applicable anonymous quote: “When option ‘A’ fails, there are 25 more letters left in the alphabet.”
Be a carrier of the positive energy virus. Wait you say – you are running low on your tank? Of course. That is why it is important to take care of yourself so you can help others. Who gives you positive energy. Do you have movies that make you laugh? Do you take care of yourself first? It is essential.
Forgive Yourself and Others
We will all make mistakes. We all have losses. Getting knocked down is a part of life right now. Just get back up and do the next right thing.
Forgive yourself and forgive others. Forgiveness is not avoiding consequences – they still need to be applied. It releases negative energy to do the next right thing.
P&G is stepping up their efforts to advance equality for all people, and especially, right now, for Black Americans who face racism, bias, and brutality.
“Where are we to go?
“How are we to respond when we are shown over and over that our lives do not matter?
“Our lives matter.
“Being white in America is not needing to state your life matters.
“And when your life matters, you have power.
“Now is the time to use it.
“Not being racist is not enough.
“Now is the time to be anti-racist.
“Words and feelings are not enough.
“Now is the time to take action.
“Read. Listen. Donate. Plan. March. Vote. Speak out.
“Step in. Step up.
“How you use your power is a choice.
“Choose action over observation.
“Choose progress over perfection.”
Most of our international clients have no idea where Minneapolis, Minnesota is located. Even some US clients are not quite sure. I explain, “The Mississippi River runs through the center of the US starting from near the Canadian border in Minnesota in the center of the country. The river runs south to the Gulf of Mexico. Minneapolis is in the north-most state along the Mississippi River.”
Minneapolis and St. Paul are called the “Twin Cities.” They are home to 18 of the companies listed on The Fortune 500 Companies. The population is highly educated and high income. The schools are some of the highest-rated in the country. The “happiness score” for Minnesota is second only to Hawaii. It is the top among the healthiest states.
The Twin Cities has the largest population of Somali and Hmong refugees in the country. We have a Somali US congresswoman, a Muslim State Attorney General, the mayor of St Paul is black as is the Chief of Police in Minneapolis.
Most people are proud of the city and OK with people not knowing where we are located. We think of ourselves as open to diversity. That all changed on Memorial Day.
George Floyd Touched the World
The world saw a policeman put his knee on the neck of George Floyd for over eight minutes as Floyd defenselessly died. The incident occurred close to where I grew up. The stores that burned are in the neighborhood I shopped in as a child.
My brother lives a few blocks from the location of the standoff on the bridge. The demonstrators running from the police ran past my brother’s home. The world has been outraged. Minneapolis is now a city name that most people recognize.
The rosy picture I painted of Minneapolis is from a white man’s perspective. It is very different for many black people in Minneapolis. Racist policing has continued in minority neighborhoods. The public school performance gaps are some of the largest in the country. There has been much angst, but no solution.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
What does it take to significantly change an organizational structure? Companies go bankrupt or get purchased if they are dysfunctional. Democracies have elections. Dictators face revolution. What about police departments?
Minneapolis has tried changing the police culture from the top with the last two reform-minded Chiefs of Police. It hasn’t worked.
A crisis can be an opportunity. If there is enough political will for change, it can create opportunities. Intervention is a bit like a corporate takeover. Part of a takeover is to determine who should stay and who should go to build the future of the organization.
“Senior management” of the state and city government is committed to reform. Perhaps a few years from now, Minneapolis will be known as the city that addressed the problem culture and successfully moved toward their ideal.