As we move into the holiday season, many will exchange good wishes with others and sing carols about peace and goodwill.  While these wishes are heartwarming, they do not match the reality of life. 

Recently there have been several violent events in the news, threats against a Jewish synagogue, a shooting in a gay nightclub, and the police being called on a 9-year-old black girl who was simply spraying insects. These acts of violence and aggression demonstrate a fear of diversity and anger toward those who are different than us. As leaders, we must be aware of these emotions and the impact it has on our team. 

Strong teams must welcome a diversity of people, strengths, and perspectives. 

Leaders need to speak out whenever these attitudes and behaviors exist, whether in the community or within their team.  They also must model inclusion and require respect for each person.  There can be no room for disparagement, or disrespectful behavior and attitudes.   

Leading the way is not simply the right thing to do, but essential if you want strong talent, high synergy, and the ability to compete.  Employers of Choice understand that each person brings a gift of their strengths and abilities to the team.  Without these unique gifts, we will struggle to fulfill our mission or reach our goals.  We will not develop the best solutions or enjoy creative ideas that each person can contribute.  In short, we will be relying on solutions that worked in the past but are no longer effective. 

I encourage you to highlight the uniqueness of each person and celebrate your strength as a team.  Encouraging people to share more about their life experiences will help us understand each other in greater ways.   Let’s work together to uplift, support, and value others by prioritizing goodwill and leading the way to include every voice.