4 Important Key Themes To Inclusionary Leadership
This week we begin sharing 4 important key themes to inclusionary leadership as described by Ray Arata, the founder of the Better Man Conference , co-founder of the Gender Leadership Group, and the author of Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up.
Just over a couple weeks ago 200+ leaders and many great diverse speakers and panelists, both men and women came together to be a part of the movement to engage men as inclusionary leaders at the Better Man Conference 2017. The Better Man Conference is a safe place for male leaders to enter into the inclusion conversation. We begin with Jan Hutchins introducing Ray Arata in this video from the conference.
The fella who brought us all here together really is a good friend, he’s a visionary, a fellow imaginer of the future, he’s a leader, he’s a paisan, I believe that is how it is pronounced. He always insists that I have to be that. He’s also the founder of this conference, the cofounder of the Gender Leadership Group, and the author of “Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up”, please welcome Ray Arata.
I want you to notice how Ray is milking more applause from us by starting from way over there. And now we have to applaud again as he walks across the stage. There’s going to be this whole kiss on both cheeks things so bare with me.
Thank you, Jan. I appreciate it.
First learning of the day, don’t start a conference at eight o’clock in the morning.
The deeper learning, good intention, to get all of you here underneath traffic and at a quarter to seven this morning when my wife punched in Waze and it said I was going to be here in an hour, complete panic set in so, the conference organizer, me, got bit by my best intentions. So good morning everybody.
IT’S ABOUT HOW ALL OF US CAN BE BETTER LEADERS, BETTER ALLIES, AND BETTER ORGANIZATIONS
On behalf of the Gender Leadership Group and our sponsors, I’d like to welcome you today. We’ve got a big day ahead of us. We’re going to hear from speakers I call my friends. We’re going to hear from several leaders with respect to their thoughts, challenges, and insights around the importance of engaging men as allies. It’s about how all of us can be better leaders, better allies, and better organizations.
So as I look out into the audience, what makes me really happy, is I see a rich mix of people. And it’s much like when my wife, Anna and I, entertain. We have a saying in our house and that is “Family is who’s around the table” and so at the table today, everybody has a voice and everybody has a contribution. Now what really surprised me, and I’m still in that place of surprise, is how many companies chose to send delegations and that’s what most of the people in the room here are today, they are coming from a company. And so these delegations that I want to name and honor as being my delegate partners are Kaiser Permanente, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, The Natural Resources Defense Council, Thomson Reuters, LinkedIn, StubHub, Ebay, and Visa. In addition, Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft also sent delegations. So let’s give them a warm round of applause. Thank you for coming.
BE LOVING, BE CARING, AND VULNERABLE. THAT’S NOT MY FEMININE SIDE, IT’S MY WHOLENESS AS A MAN
So today each of us will embark on an Inclusionary Leadership journey and it’s my belief that much of this journey is really a journey of the heart. And over the last eighteen years, much of my so called “men’s work” has had me focus and develop on what we’ve considered as “feminine traits”. And last year Don McPherson, who was to have been here today, and we heard that is not, said it best and this is what he said, “Be loving, be caring, and vulnerable. That’s not my feminine side, it’s my wholeness as a man.”
And for the women in the room and for the men who may not identify with what I just said, I also learned that it’s a blend of masculine and feminine traits that can contribute to all of us being whole people. So this insight continues to serve me on my own Inclusionary Leadership journey, and I invite all of you to take heart to that.
Now, in all this work that I have done in the last eighteen years, four themes that I got in touch with when I did a weekend workshop back in February, have really kind of come out and it’s kind of how I see the world. So I want to offer you these four themes as we go through today.
THEME 1: WE CAN CHOOSE POSSIBILITY OVER PAIN
So the first theme, and this is just context, you can do with it what you will. So the first theme is that we can choose possibility over pain. Now for some unexplainable reason when it comes to personal growth, often the biggest motivator is pain. Now I know that first hand, my own story of a divorce and business partnership break up forced me to take a hard look at my behaviors, what was driving them and who it was impacting. Now it took real emotional pain from me to get my attention to evolve and change.
Right now in the news, in the valley, both the engineer and Google the company, they’re amidst a painful lesson. And it doesn’t have to be this way. Each of you has the opportunity to, starting today, to imagine what is possible for you and your workplace culture. By stepping up and onto the path of being an inclusionary leader and ally.
THEME 2: PARTNERSHIP OF THE HEAD AND HEART
Now the second theme is what I call the partnership of the head and the heart, in order to make what is possible, real. It will require what I call a conscious partnership of the head and heart. Now becoming conscious starts with making the invisible, visible. Now we all have unconscious biases running our minds, and if we don’t bring attention to them, they basically run the show, they can affect our decisions and they can drive our behaviors. The opportunity for each of us today is to get conscious about our biases, if you aren’t already, and how they play out and affect others. Each of you will have that opportunity today.
BY BRINGING MUTUAL AWARENESS TO BOTH OUR HEAD AND OUR HEART, WE CAN MAKE DIFFERENT CHOICES THAT...FOSTER INCLUSIVITY AND BELONGING, SOMETHING WE ALL WANT
Now, when we are unconscious to our emotions, we react. When we react, our emotions drive the bus. This occurs when we feel threatened, marginalized, ashamed, angry. I know this happens to me. Now this happens in a millisecond and here’s the thing, we can actually interrupt this conditioned behavior if we get conscious and curious and we’re willing to feel our emotions. I know I just said that guys, feel our emotions. It wasn’t something as a man that I was ever taught, no hard feelings dad, you probably weren’t taught by your dad. So here’s the thing, I had no idea this vast part of real estate called my body that existed below my chin where my emotions lived and that I can actually make contact with them, experience them, interrupt old conditioned behaviors. So by bringing mutual awareness to both our head and our heart, we can make different choices that support more productive behaviors that foster inclusivity and belonging. Something we all want. With me? Make sense? Yeah, cool.
The conscious partnership of the head and heart allows us to fully embrace the third theme, we are all better together then we are apart. Now we all know that relationships are mandatory for success......TO BE CONTINUED...