Dr. Rita's Blog
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” – Michelle Obama
I’ve been reading lots of blogs about what to do as a leader during these times.
Truth is nobody knows for sure.
None of us in organizations today has been through a pandemic before.
There is plenty of fear to go around and lots of ways that it can magnify.
However, when we let fear get a foothold it actually clogs up the part of our brain we need most these days… The creative part.
After the last email entitled What is Mine to Do? I got a call from Jill Konrath, a dear friend and colleague of mine.
We had an inspiring conversation about the power of asking the question "What is mine to do?"
We both struggle knowing we could do many things during this time of unrest and pandemic fear.
We talked about the difference between asking: how do we solve this problem vs what do we want to create?
We noticed that the difference in response in our bodies to the two questions was palpable. When we imagined solving a problem, we were starting from a place of seeing the current situation as something that needed to be fixed.
When we asked what do we want to create, our energy totally shifted. There was a sense of wonder, creativity, curiosity and excitement.
We had a heart-felt connection to possibility that didn’t exist when we were “solving a problem.”
Same situation. All it took to feel much more motivated and energized was changing our perspective and asking a possibility question instead of a problem question.
Jill and I are both leaders and what we did was take the time to reflect and ponder. Out of that reflection came a shift that inspired both of us.
Lots of things feel out of control right now. We realized that what is in our control is deciding whether to approach today as a problem or a possibility.
And that makes all the difference.
Experiment with this for yourself, your colleagues, and your team and let me know what you notice.
Interested in having a possibility conversation? I'd love to talk with you!
Until next time,
What is mine to do?
Knowing that the conversation about race starts with me, is reassuring.
I’ve learned to ask myself this question: What is mine to do?
I look around at the Black Lives Matter marches and sometimes I feel guilty that I am not physically out there with them.
But when I step back and ask: What is mine to do? I realize that educating myself is mine to do for right now. I’m sure it will lead to something more.
Brene Brown is one of my favorite authors. She has a new podcast series called Unlocking Us. Here are three of her podcasts related to race that I recommend.
My 19 year old daughter is adopted from the eastern part of Russia. She identifies as Asian. When I first started allowing myself to learn and discuss what I was learning, she would often get grumpy with me and say something about my white privilege. That would make me mad. I got defensive.
But slowly I came to the realization that she was right. Since then I’ve wrestled with a long list of emotions and feelings that learning about race has brought up. I’m having lots of practice getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
A couple years ago I looked around my Executive Women’s Change Leadership Roundtable meeting and noticed we were all white women. It had been a blind spot for me for quite some time, but once I noticed it, I couldn’t un notice. I actively recruited women of color.
And I’m grateful. One of the women I recruited has become a dear friend of mine. She has patiently shared her stories of feeling uncomfortable every day when she leaves her home and goes out into the world. She never knows when someone is going to give her a condescending look or she might be pulled over for driving while black. And she has a young son, so she lives with the constant fear that he could easily face death by being caught doing what white boys can do with little concern.
Even her covid-19 experience is much different from mine. I know one person who tested positive and it was a mild case. My friend had multiple family members on ventilators, extended family and friends who died from the disease. The grief she experienced was overwhelming.
One of the quotes Kendra Q. Dodd shared with us at our July Roundtable is: “There’s no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we don’t live a single issue life.”
The deeper I dive into this issue the more I totally agree with the quote above.
Reach out to me if you’d like to explore what is yours to do. I’m happy to start a meaningful conversation with you!
Until next time,
If you’re like most of the leaders I’m talking with these days, you’re probably asking yourself: What’s the best way to talk about race?
According to Kendra Q. Dodd, founder of Fulfil-2B, who was our conversation starter at the July Executive Women’s Change Leadership Roundtable, there is no cookie cutter approach.
We will always feel like we don’t know enough.
As our society evolves, diversity, inclusion and belonging definitions are evolving within our organizations.
It is easy to stand behind the fear.
To muster the courage to get out from behind the fear, here are a few things to think about.
We all are diverse in many different ways. Our diversity makes life vibrant and interesting. The challenge for us as leaders now is to lead in a way that integrates inclusion and belonging into our strategies and our everyday actions.
I’m continuing to develop programming to help us as leaders take deliberate actions that make inclusion and belonging a way of life for ourselves and our organizations.
Reach out to me to learn more.
Until next time,
Dr. Rita Webster
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