Take a Stand Like Elon Musk in Your Workplace

Act Now

In the current political climate, corporate leaders are standing up to take a stand for what they believe in–and we can all learn from them.

Elon MuskRichard BransonRoger GoodellGeena DavisElizabeth WarrenBonnie Crater.

The list goes on and on.

No matter the politics, many people in the business (and sports) world are dismayed by the (mis)behavior of President Donald Trump.

His lack of sensitivity, empathy, professionalism, emotional intelligence, politeness–you name it– leaves many to believe his actions are anything but presidential.

For that reason, corporate leaders are stepping up to take a stand for issues they believe in like free trade, climate change, immigration, healthcare, and free speech, to name a few.

Elon Musk, the Tesla, and SpaceX CEO, quit the president’s advisory boards after Trump left the Paris climate accord, and tech mogul Mark Cuban spoke out about Trump’s criticism of NFL players taking a knee, for example.

These prominent leaders can serve as an inspiration to you, no matter your position in the corporate latter, in a time when many feel powerless and hopeless. We can learn from them how to be outspoken and make a difference in our world today.

Here are five ways we can do this:

Take a stand.

If you personally believe in something, then share it with your team–even if they might not agree with you. They will find it inspiring, and it may be a catalyst for your team to act for a cause they’re passionate about, too.

Also, people like to know that a leader has a point of view and will take a stand. Being with a flip-flopper is unsettling. Working under someone with conviction can give a sense of security and clarity.

Talk with your team.

Collectively, your team may be passionate about a cause and want to act. Brainstorm ways your organization can help whether it be writing letters, donating money, or volunteering. Then formulate a plan and get moving.

The shared experience may even strengthen the bond of your team.

Use your clout.

With your organization’s approval, extend your leadership role into the community. Use your notoriety and speak at community organizations, schools, and institutions to bring attention to important issues.

Join forces.

Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, and Ariana Grande joined together to host a Concert for Charlottesville following the deadly white supremacist riot in the Virginia town last August.

You can do something similar–get together with other business leaders to amplify your impact, Which lends itself to more hands, heads, and hearts–and more attention to what’s important to you.

Get involved with other events.

You don’t need to create your own event–other groups are already acting and would welcome your support. So, get involved and tell your team what you’re doing. They may want to tag along, too.

Some national groups like the ACLUAnti-defamation LeagueHuman Rights Watch, and Greenpeace, may have chapters in your area. You can find a list here.

And to support your efforts in making a difference, you can find your local representatives here.

Instead of feeling dismayed and hopeless, take action and stand up – peacefully and compassionately – for what you believe in. If we all do that a little more lately, we’ll help create a better world for all of us.

A version of this post was first published on Inc.
Image: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

Five Friday Highlights: Gender Parity

Gender Parity

Were you involved in any International Women’s Day (IWD) observances earlier this month? This year’s observance included the #PledgeForParity campaign, which encouraged participants to put gender parity on the agenda on International Women’s Day and beyond. One of today’s featured articles was released specifically for IWD. The others weren’t targeted to the day of observance, but still address important issues of equity and parity.

On International Women’s Day, Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines published Equality is Not Just Women’s Business. Noting that “the World Economic Forum predicts that it will take until 2133 to achieve global gender parity,” Branson explained what his company is doing to make gender parity a reality. He wrote, “Business can and must do so much more to promote equality, respect and fairness. Removing barriers like discrimination and divisions is a necessity for business success. At Virgin, we have … created an environment where all people can thrive – because of who they are, not in spite of it.”

Every individual, female OR male, can make a difference for #GenderParity! ~ {TWEET THIS}

It was a bold statement for Shell United States to proclaim “a new era in supplier diversity openness and transparency has begun” when they introduced their new Shell Supplier Diversity website. Although supplier diversity is a different genre than gender or cultural diversity, by its nature it requires an organization to think differently and to set definitive goals for itself. Shell proclaims it will provide “a storehouse of information, both specific to the energy industry and more general and applicable to working with any multi-national.” It will be interesting to see what happens!

It’s important to note that the very definition of diversity varies depending on perspective. In Millennials Have a Different Definition of Diversity and Inclusion from Fast Company, Lydia Dishman analyzed the results of a study from Deloitte and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI). Dishman summarized the authors’ advice to leaders: they should “remember that what brought diversity into their company isn’t the same as what it will take to support that talent.”

The Time-Consuming Activities That Stall Women’s Careers from the Harvard Business Review explained that women face a “triple whammy” when trying to find the right balance when managing their time commitments at home and work. The triple whammy includes housework, actual time at work, and the way they spend their time at the office. Most importantly, author Rebecca Shambaugh provided four steps women can take to allocate their time more effectively in order to advance professionally.

I was impressed with this article stating that a strategy will close the gender gap, not that it may close the gender gap! Kristy Wallace of Ellevate explained why senior management engagement is so critical. Creating an Employee Executive Board Will Close the Gender Gap in Business makes the case for a group different than a diversity “committee.” It recommends “an independent internal committee that convenes key stakeholders — the Corporate Board of Directors, senior leadership, clients and employees” — a board with sufficient executive authority to set corporate goals and dictate measures that can move organizations toward those goals.

Did you read something this week that gave you hope for gender parity? I would love to hear about it! Click here to email me with your recommendations!