Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, recently contributed a thoughtful article on the need for servant leadership. This is not a new concept in business or leadership, but it’s also not a widely used one either. It’s largely based on the belief that the best leaders are those who fully internalize and act on their role as “servants” to their employees and others. He took a lot of grief for this in the comments section, though I personally applaud his contribution. That said, the key sentance that stood out for me in all that he wrote was: “A scholarship and entry-level job at Xerox created a path upward that was typical for many of my generation.” This belief was shared after he disclosed having grown up in public housing in Brooklyn, with a mother who built his confidence by suggesting that he could be the first in the family to graduate college.
Really look at that sentance. Is this true? Evidence does not support it. It would be more accurate to say that this path was perhaps typical for white males of his generation. It was not typical for women, Blacks, Latina’s, etc. Yet I’ll venture that the majority of readers skimmed right on past that sentiment. We do this so automatically, that it’s hard to catch the bias involved. I, myself, have only cast a critical eye in the past few years. So I’m sharing what I noticed and inviting you to give this some thought, too. Here’s a link to the article, for those interested:
Happy Monday, Diversity & Inclusion Champions!