Life has a strange way of playing out sometimes. The word ‘liberation’ has been playing in my head for days and I can’t figure out why. As I’m writing this, I am in Seattle about to conduct a 2 part workshop for a team at Amazon on connecting their personal purpose to their work and how that may impact how they interpret the Leadership Principles.
I know. If you’ve followed me for any time, this is a fascinating 360. Nearly 2 years ago, I was working here and in a job I loved but a situation that left much to be desired. I was early in my work with my coach, L. Michelle Smith when she asked me a straightforward question –
Where can you have the most impact – inside or outside the organization?
At the time, I was not only fighting to stay employed but fighting for the greater good. A particular L8 leader did not care for my ‘authentic voice’ and tried to make it challenging to be heard and successful in my role. Shortly after that, it was relayed to me that other leaders had deemed my ‘voice’ as influential and a challenge to them. If you know anything about the inner workings of corporate America, once these conversations take place, especially about a Black woman, the trajectory of her career usually takes a turn, and decisions have to be made.
So now I find myself back in Seattle, only a few hours from part 1 of this workshop and a half-day away from the launch of today’s DEI After 5 episode with Farzin Farzad.
I have to be honest. This episode had a major impact on my decision to do this workshop in Seattle. Somewhere around the 21-minute mark, it all clicked. Starting my diversity consulting business was an act of liberation. I realize that I am not restricted by a job description or by someone else’s design in my current work. Now I have the freedom to use my voice and utilize all of the skills I have developed throughout my career. Now, I can truly show up as my authentic self – no strings – no restrictions – no limitations.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Ask me the question now and my answer would unequivocally be outside. Who I was 2 years ago was but a shadow of who I am today. My voice hasn’t changed, but now the impact of my words holds greater power and creates communities of support and solidarity. Today, my influence can inspire cultural change… and that’s how you impact the world.
In this episode, Farzin Farzad discusses how we can begin to shift DEI into liberation, the importance of community, and what he calls the tenets of solidarity.
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