July 11, 2014 Leave a comment
Recently, I was the keynote speaker at the Madigan Hospital on Joint Base Lewis-McChord military base. I spoke on the value of diversity and why inclusion was important. This was important to me, because I know that our freedom comes at a cost and the brave men and women in our US military in every position are doing their part in protecting our freedoms and our nation. I love talking about diversity and have done hundreds of diversity talks and trainings around the United States.
In every type of organization, people are the greatest asset. We of course know this. However, if leaders want to maximize profitability, increase creativity and innovation, they must truly understand the value of diversity. We are all diverse. It is not only about color of our skin, gender, sexual orientation or background, it is about the way we each think.
We are all each much stronger when we are allowed to be our own true authentic-self. This is why we must learn NOT to judge others. We must learn to not only TOLERATE, but we must absolutely accept and embrace differences of others. Differences means more choices, more ideas, and more perspectives that solve problems and make things even better.
Consider this, a rope is only as strong as each of it’s strands are strong. When one strand of the rope is weak, then the rope is not as strong. In my book Diversity At Work, I use the metaphor of how much better music is when there is a whole orchestra with many differing instruments, rather than just all trombones, or all just drums. Diversity is GREAT when many voices are true and different.
The same goes with salad. Just plain lettuce is okay, but when you add tomatoes, almonds, onions, olives, and peppers–Wow! Now you have diversity and something that is so much better!
It makes good sense that we should just learn to appreciate people for who they truly are, rather than make them hide an important part of themselves which makes them a little weaker. We are strong in number when we do not judge others. We are weaker when one part of our teams are not whole and feeling completely healthy.
The bottom line is that we accomplish so much more when we treat others the way they need to be treated. I call that the “Platinum Rule” in my book. Non-judgement gives us more power. We all have the power to influence and empower. This is so much better than judging and deflating. Don’t you agree?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this article. Please like and share it with others.
If you have questions or would like to invite me to speak at your organization, please visit me at my website: PaulGerhardt.com.