Think. Care. Vote.
Updated: Nov 7, 2018
It's an interesting time in the world and a pivotal moment in the United States.
I consider myself to be a relatively even-keeled person; yet, I'm passionate about the things that I truly care about. I pick my battles. I know the hills I'd be willing to die on and the rights I'd be willing to fight for.
I mean, honestly, HUMAN RIGHTS and CIVIL RIGHTS and ANIMAL rights.
Being a voice for those who can't speak for themselves.
Advocating for laws and policies that promote a just world.
Access to healthcare for all.
Power distributions that reflect the diversity that exists in our world.
Open access to education.
Helping, supporting, and elevating people.
Are some of those things redundant? Maybe. And yes, I feel strongly about quite a few things.
So, what? Why am I writing about this on my blog that focused on coaching and leadership?
From my perspective, we need great, people-focused, caring and empathetic leaders with integrity and strong values. Value, you may argue, are empathetic.
In the recent past, it was an unspoken rule that we would separate politics from our organizational lives. Many public companies and organizations didn't take a stance either way -- and they certainly didn't write about it or talk about.
Your beliefs were your beliefs and they were kept private and hidden from the world.
Now, many companies are taking a stand in a very public way (repping all my Nike gear whenever I can, ya feel me?) --
"Released in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, this year's survey found 57 companies in the S&P 500 received scores for political disclosure and accountability of 90% or above, up from 50 last year and double the 28 companies that received that grade in 2015. Three companies received a 100% disclosure score, up from one last year."
Like it or not, privacy or being quiet is really no longer an option. In fact, being quiet is a decision and a stance in and of itself.
This article has good suggestions for how to navigate the tightrope of wanting to take a stance and share your perspective, while remaining diplomatic and demonstrating good judgement:
"...it's a matter of diplomacy rather than legality. Saying inflammatory things around the water cooler will shape your co-workers’ views of you, and posting online is no different. Companies are forbidden by law to hack into your personal social media accounts, but if you’re connected with your co-workers and your boss on social media, they’re going to see what you’ve been up to. Like obnoxious remarks in the office, intemperate posts can alienate colleagues and reflect badly on you as an individual."
I'm certainly not here to tell you what you should value, and while I'm very active across my social media accounts, I avoid sharing anything that's inflammatory or disparaging, or that promotes exclusion versus inclusion.
In addition to the above, I also greatly value open and constructive dialogue, speaking with people who share alternative views but are willing to hash things out, and being surrounded by people who care about questioning their assumptions and getting things right (rather than confirming their beliefs or being closed off to others' influence).
And, at the least, I will say that I strongly believe we should all take advantage of our right to vote.
And I'd be remiss not to mention the immense importance of voting in the Midterm Elections.
Every two years, voters elect a new House of Representatives and one-third of the 100-seat Senate. The Midterms determine who will gain control of one or both. It's impactful. It's important. The Midterms can propel our ability to drive change or promote the status quo.
If you don't vote, can you be a part of the conversation?
I'm not a black-and-white thinker, but I'm going to take a hard line here and say: NO.
Today, I voted along with my younger siblings and my entire family, along with a large amount of colleagues, friends, and connections (#togetherinspirit).
We are cautiously optimistic that we'll progress in the right direction versus taking our country back.
What's the so what, you ask? Here's what I suggest:
(1) Get really clear on what you value and what you're willing to fight for. If push comes to shove, where will you take a stand?
(2) What action can you take to make sure your values and beliefs are represented in the law, policies, and leadership within our country and our organizations?
(3) Remain open-minded and inclusive of others. Ask questions. Demonstrate curiosity and don't ever shut yourself off to the other ideas and opinions, even when you believe they might be drastically different than your own.
Diversity of thought is critically important for progress.
Stay open-minded and always vote,