With the killing of George Floyd on the heels of so much police brutality against black men, the protests, violence erupting in cities across America, AND all this during a pandemic, I don’t know about you, but it’s a lot to process. Racism is heart-breaking to witness for me. One of the best books I’ve read covering race in America is called “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything your American History Teacher Got Wrong” by James W. Loewen.
Personally, I’ve dealt with prejudice in my own life. I know exactly how hurtful it can be — even though I was blessed to never have experienced physical violence. In 8th grade we moved from racially diverse P.G. County to rural Calvert County, Maryland. Being half-Japanese and one of the only Asians in the school, I got bullied and called “Connie Chung.” Then, I went into the workforce. I still have to deal with the “old boy network” and figure out how to succeed in spite of it, while still being true to myself.
I know you read my emails for business advice on capturing GovCon contracts, so let me make sure I’m serving you in this email. As a business leader, [FIRST NAME GOES HERE], your bubble has been burst in a big way. Not only are things NOT hunky-dory because there’s a pandemic going on. There’s also a racial divide. Maybe not all of your employees have had a family member who contracted or died by COVID-19. But they all have a very personal story about being impacted by the invisible bias that goes on everyday — whether it be due to race, sex, age, sexual orientation, or religion. Business leaders are as an important of a voice in leadership as political leaders, spiritual leaders, and community leaders. Business leaders are being called to have the open, honest dialogue about race, prejudice, and all the other difficult subjects. We don’t just want hand-waving about diversity and hiring a token minority to be chief of HR. We can see right through that. Because just as people can unite in hatred toward a common cause, they can also unite in love. Being open and honest and creating a safe environment –that’s how you can build loyalty and trust with your employees and an enduring culture. And bringing it back to capture, a team that has that is UNSTOPPABLE in a competitive capture.
I would love to know your thoughts. Always happy to get a reply.