What we’ve seen in the United States in the past ten days are symptoms of a deeply wounded and corrupt culture. We at NextGen Orgs stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family. We stand in solidarity with the families of all the Black and Brown people who’ve been murdered recently by police and racists. The list is long: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Botham J
We’ve identified four aspects of a just and equitable society:
First, it must be based on a power paradigm of love, not fear.
Currently, we are living in a
A power paradigm based on love is an infinite game, to steal a phrase from Simon Sinek. Nonetheless, it’s an internally referenced power. We can all be as powerful as we choose to be. A power paradigm based on love helps us to remember our true nature. It helps us to remember that we are all deeply connected. Indeed, we are all one. However, we can’t live into this new power paradigm of love if we don’t handle the other three aspects that make up a just and equitable society.
Second, we have to understand our history and make reparations.
The United States was born on the backs of enslaved Africans and with lands stolen from murdered indigenous people. We owe them, big time. There’s a reason we look like we’re on the brink of another civil war right now. At the end of the first civil war, we only freed the enslaved people. We didn’t liberate them nor did they get the same rights as white people. Moreover, we didn’t make reparations for their time enslaved or give them land to farm and live on. We treated them as only slightly better than animals, even after they were “freed.” We still treat them as second class citizens to this day. Laws are still in place that unfairly
Third, systems must be dismantled.
Frankly, all the systems in America are based on a power paradigm of fear. Furthermore, we live in a system of white supremacy. I know that phrase can be hard to swallow. But ask yourself if any of these sound familiar? Perfectionism, defensiveness, either/or thinking, a sense of urgency, quantity over quality, individualism, and power hoarding. According to Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, these are some of the symptoms of a culture of white supremacy.
Luckily, there are antidotes. You can find them all here, but I’ll share one example from Jones and Okun’s work. The define perfectionism, in part, as confusing making a mistake for being a mistake. Mistakes are taken personally, instead of understanding that mistakes are part of the human experience. The antidotes to perfectionism include “develop a culture of appreciation, where the organization takes time to make sure that peopleís work and efforts are appreciated; develop a learning organization, where it is expected that everyone will make mistakes and those mistakes offer opportunities for learning; create an environment where people can recognize that mistakes sometimes lead to positive results; separate the person from the mistake; when offering feedback, always speak to the things that went well before offering criticism; ask people to offer specific suggestions for how to do things differently when offering criticism”.
Lastly, there’s the human experience.
This is where it gets messy. We had a client who made a public mistake on social media and became instantly defensive. It’s understandable with the spotlight being on racism and anti-racism work. But she tried to do what’s called a “spiritual by-pass” and go straight to the paradigm of love without acknowledging history and systems. She said, “But we’re all one!” While that’s ultimately true, people are having wildly different experiences right now. Spiritual by-passing never works, rather it alienates people, and we can’t do that. It’s critical to unify people in current times. We have to find commonalities. It’s hard to be racist against someone you know and like. But they can still be harmed by your accidental racism if you don’t understand
However, it’s really hard to do the inner work necessary to be a leader in these times. It’s not simply learning a new skill set. You have to dig into the shadows of your personality to honestly acknowledge your conscious and unconscious biases. Upgrade your mindsets to be open, growth-minded, and more “otherish”. Otherish is the opposite of selfish.It’s where you see people as valuable human beings, not as a way for you to get what you want. It requires emotional intelligence. EQ is about more than being self-aware and learning how to manage your emotions. You absolutely must learn how to read others, to understand where they’re coming from, and be able to inspire them to be the best they can in each moment. You have to understand that in times like this, their best might not be their ultimate best. We’re all doing the best we can.
Welcome to the revolution. Consequently, we hold the intention of seeing a just and equitable society emerge from the chaos. And we’re doing our part to help organizations get there.
Johanna Lyman is the Founder and CEO of NextGen Orgs.
She is a Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach with over fifteen years of experience in implementing organization wide change strategies for both Fortune 500 companies and Small Businesses.
At NextGen Orgs, they use a combination of unique delivery methods and processes that crack the code on establishing lasting organizational behavior changes in a relatively short period of time. Their proprietary and evolutionary system can eliminate months of frustration often associated with developing strong leadership and building a cohesive, collaborative team.
Johanna is a professional speaker, available to speak on a variety of topics related to culture, communication, innovation, and leadership skills. She is the Board President for the Bay Area Chapter of Conscious Capitalism and is deeply versed in how to help businesses be a force for good in the world. Learn more (URL: https://www.nextgenorgs.com/about/). Contact Johanna at email@example.com