Hello for the weekly rendez-vous on Friday. TGIF – Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration, and Fun.
I am trusting in the Power (and sweetness) of Diversity.
This past Monday France was on holiday for Pentecost. It is the Christian “Diversity Day,” and what happened that day holds insights for how we create or break a sense of belonging. Let me explain.
Pentecost is a day when the group became defined by its center, not by its barriers.
Pentecost marks the day when the news about Jesus’ resurrection became international news. His disciples, mostly uneducated small-town fishermen, spoke Hebrew and were following the Jewish calendar of celebrating Passover in Jerusalem. The city was full of people who traveled from other nations to celebrate the feast. According to the Bible*, on Pentecost the disciples were given a supernatural ability to speak these foreign languages and told about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
In 2019 terms, this is like being confused while watching a foreign movie without subtitles. Then, amazingly, the actors come to you and play the scene in your own language and you understand.
What does this have to do with diversity? Many groups are defined by their border. It’s a barrier which describes who is “in” and who is “OUT.”
- We are women, you are men.
- We are Ivy League School graduates…What’s your background?
- We are…
and the list goes on.
Pentecost is a day when the group became defined by its center, not by its barriers. By making the news of Jesus available to people of all languages, the focus became Jesus and not the cultural barriers.
I am trusting that each of us will choose to focus on common, centering principles such as justice and equal rights. You and I, as we lead by example and act within our circles of influence, can make a difference in building inclusive cultures within our companies and communities.
And, I love this image of the Madonna and child by Jesus Mafa. Why should Jesus look like a well-fed, richly clothed Italian infant from the Renaissance period?! This image made me aware of some of my unconscious biases.
Maybe you too have seen the T-shirts that read, “I met God. She’s black.” 🙂 When we meet God, I think every one of us will be surprised.
*For the Pentecost story, see Acts chapter 2
Thank you to the people who support the “cause” of others
- For the men promoting women to leadership
- For the whites insisting on equal rights for people of other races
- For the atheists welcoming prayers of the faithful
- For the healthy investing in equipment for the disabled
I am also grateful to one of my sons, he was about 10 years old at the time, who said, “Mom, you do stuff for Christians. What do you do for non-Christians?” That question changed how I invest my time and energy…and eventually to why I am writing you right now.
Following up on these meaning-of-life thoughts, my inspiration this week comes from an Excel file!!!!!!
Isabelle Roux-Buisson is mentoring me on an entrepreneurial project, and she sent me an “Assumptions Dashboard” spreadsheet. This has been so helpful and grounding.
Entrepreneurship is like navigating in the fog. We move forward step by step and try to get as much clarity as possible. Writing down assumptions gives shape to potential obstacles. Testing these premises opens the way for opportunities.
Her inspiring impetus boosted me to test market presuppositions and to move from the “I hope” stage to the “that door is closed but this one is open!” phase.
Isabelle is a senior executive in the tech field and a jury for the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition in Europe. You can learn from her too! Here is her interview on how she developed Emotional Intelligence throughout various stages of her career.
Last week, I hinted at our D-Day inspired haircutting ritual. The Allied forces brought the harbor to Arromanches-les-Bains; we bring our hairdresser to our home.
It’s been going on for over two decades. That means it’s working…and we make it fun!
All six of us pass through Adrien Bracon’s expert snips. When the kids were tykes it was exhausting having them sit still BOTH while in a barber’s chair AND while their brothers’ Chewbacca (massive head of hair) got trimmed. HELL.
Instead we sip flavored coffee, exchange music, and send emails (!) while getting our hair reshaped. And since there are six of us, haircutting time always falls around mealtime. We easily transition to wine and cheese.
These pictures were taken at the same place with the same people, 15 years apart.
I love to take the bore out of a chore. What small shift in perspective – a reframe – could make your life more pleasant?
Get in touch. This is what I talk about with clients: transforming a relationship challenge into an opportunity for growth.
See below the article on fresh perspectives inspired by inclement weather. The cover image on the TGIF is from Christophe Jacrot, an amazing photographer taking pictures in the snow and rain. It’s been raining every day in Paris this week. That was less fun for me, but the plants love it!
Looking forward to being in touch next Friday.
Neat & New Stuff
Interview with Isabelle Roux-Buisson
Isabelle shares how she leaned on emotional intelligence (EI) skills throughout her career. Each stage of leadership requires different skills to connect with and motivate team members and other stakeholders. She shares how learned about emotional intelligence and then intentionally integrated these skills into her management style. Read on…
3 Managerial Insights from Snow in Paris
It’s not literally freezing in Paris, but the weather sure is cold for this time of year and intense precipitation falls every day. This post presents fresh perspectives on work that were gained from inclement weather. It’s a reframing with the intent to make your management as productive and more fun.
Looking for Interview Suggestions
Can you recommend a wise leader with a message related to building constructive conversations at work? Many of you appreciate the interviews I led with tried and tested leaders who overcame challenging conditions.
- Elisabeth Moreno addressed taking risks.
- Steven Sels shared how his executive team integrates diversity.
- Lorin Gresser talked about intergenerational teamwork.
- Dominique Grelet spoke of managing remote teams.
- And more…
It would be an honor to know about them and to possibly interview them. Please send me an email.