PT. 2 CONQUERING BLAME, VALUING DIFFERENCES AS AN INCLUSIONARY LEADER
On last week's blog we shared a talk on Conquering Blame by Ed Gurowitz, Co Founder of the Gender Leadership Group. He discussed the victim-persecutor-rescuer dynamic and how it does not allow for inclusion or appreciation of differences. This week, we continue the series by sharing alternative actions in support of inclusionary leadership.
The victim is less capable and needs help, the persecutor is more capable and is in the right, and the rescuer is more capable and occupies the higher moral ground. So what’s the alternative?
IT STARTS WITH OWNERSHIP
Well, I'm going to suggest to you that there is an alternative, and it goes like this. It starts with ownership. The one thing a victim can't do, is own their situation. I didn't say take the blame for it, they can do that; but own it, take responsibility for it. “How did I get myself into this, what did I do or fail to do that put me in this situation?” And then to ask the question, “What am I committed to in this situation, what is it that’s important to me that I want to have happen? And finally, what are the actions I'm going to take?”
I'M FULLY CAPABLE, I CAN ASK FOR SUPPORT
Here’s what I see I had to do with it. If it happens on my watch, I'm responsible for it, this is what I'm committed to, and here’s what I'm going to do”. Now here’s the kicker. The context for accountability versus victim-hood is in inclusive and equality. “I'm fully capable, I can ask for support, and there’s no contradiction there, and I'm responsible for my relationship to whatever happens.”
But here’s the tough part; these are two mutually exclusive worlds, they don't overlap. If there’s one ounce of blame, there is no accountability. You have to be willing...And this is tough, we're humans, we love to blame, we're addicted to blame. Come on, tell the truth, you have at least once in your life had the thought, that it rained because you washed your car. We love that stuff, because then we don't have to be responsible. Inclusion is impossible in blame, all you can see is whose fault is it. Whereas in accountability, to take one example, I own my biases. There is not one human being who is privileged who isn't biased. Everyone one of us is privileged in some arena. Some of us are privileged in a lot of arenas, you own them.
When Ray, and Dale, and I started The Gender Leadership Group, people said, “Well, excuse me, you’re three straight white guys talking about gender partnership and equality,” and we said, “Yes, we are. We're privileged, we're in a position of power. You know what, the straight white guys who run companies will listen to us, we're going to use that, we're going to leverage that. You know, not to sound too much like a superhero, but we're going to use our privilege for good. We own it, we're responsible for it. I'm not going to take advantage of it, I'm not going to use my privilege to be a persecutor or a rescuer. I'm going to use my privilege to get me the ear of people who will listen to people who look like me, where my actions are consistent with what I'm committed to, I own them. I once said, “Stand up!” to a man in a wheelchair, and now I take different actions.”
THIS IS COMMON SENSE, BUT IT’S NOT COMMON PRACTICE
We have a saying in the Gender Leadership Group, and we use it a lot, “This is common sense, but it’s not common practice.” There’s nothing difficult here. What’s difficult is giving up our addiction to blame, our addiction to being a victim. Or if your resting state is a rescuer or persecutor – no persecutors in this room, I'm sure – how many of you know damn well you’re a rescuer? Giving that up, and owning (it), that’s what I want to do.
Better Man Conference 2017 Recap Report
We are proud to share this recap report from the Better Man Conference 2017 as just last month, 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. This year we grew in both quantity and quality. That’s due to your involvement. We thank each and every attendee, speaker, sponsor, marketing partner, and supporter for being such an important part of the men's inclusionary leadership movement. See the recap report here.