I am not much of a movie connoisseur. However, I recently attended an advanced screening of the movie ‘Hidden Figures’ and once again when the movie opened nation-wide. Yes, I saw the movie twice…….it was that good. Don’t worry, no spoiler alert necessary but go see the movie.
‘Hidden Figures’ is based on the lives of three African-American female mathematicians; Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson who worked at NASA and served as the ‘human computers’ behind the space mission to launch astronaut John Glenn to the moon. By the way, the movie is based on the book, ‘Hidden Figures’, written by Margot Lee Shetterly.
‘Hidden Figures’ was not only encouraging and inspiring but more importantly the movie re-teaches 4 major lessons applicable in leadership and life, then and now.
Diversity matters. Ethnic and gender diversity lay the foundation for diversity of thought, religion, ideology etc. It’s been proven that environments represented by various perspectives rather than by a single perspective produce better decisions and results. The perceived social, intellectual and financial ‘risks’ of diversity far outweigh the value gained. This is why diversity still matters.
Inclusion is separate and distinct from diversity. Inclusion is active and continual. Inclusion is an investment and requires work. Rather than an individual simply having a presence in the room, inclusion demands an individual’s presence be inviting and participatory; a seat at the table. The past has consistently proven every time authentic inclusiveness occurs, the needle moves forward benefitting the greater good.
Leadership takes courage. It takes courage to elevate an individual or team past of the point of you as the leader. It takes courage to act against the status quo or those long-standing modes of operation. It takes courage to advocate or speak up for someone and even more courage to advocate on behalf of someone not present. Remember, most individuals leave a company because of their leader (manager). Leadership, rather the actions of leadership, is less about the actual leader and more about the leadership of others.
Change is transformative. Change brings progress. Change involves conflict. Learn to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. At times, change causes feelings of resistance. In those moments of discomfort or resistance, take a step back. Try to understand, ask questions, step aside, surrender or do all the above. Embrace those change agents, disruptors and others who have so boldly taken on the challenge of the status quo. Sometimes change means you have no choice but be the first one.
Look around, there are plenty of ‘Hidden Figures’ in plain sight. These 4 lessons of leadership and life bind us on a global level. How will you apply them?
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Holland Energy Consulting, LLC is a boutique management and human capital consulting firm. Click https://hollandenergyconsulting.com/ to learn more, inquire about services or schedule speaking/lecturer engagements.