Episode 10

full
Published on:

11th Aug 2022

How to be a better ally

In this episode of How To Take The Lead we focus on allyship as a leader. Neither of us profess to be experts in this area, in fact we are on our own learning journeys, but we feel this is an important aspect of being a leader.

In this episode we share our thoughts, experiences and learning, including:

·      07:52 – why does allyship matter?

·      11:53 – what can leaders do?

·      18:01 – making change happen

·      21:53 – challenging your own biases

·      29:00 – data warning

·      38:00 – fear factor

·      43:50 – institutional racism, Cricket Scotland and are we really learning?

·      53:46 – how to... be a better ally

In this episode we recommend the books:

Diversify by June Sarpong

Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

If you enjoyed this episode why not subscribe to the podcast. We would love it if you left us a rating or review and feel free to share the link to this episode with anyone else you think would find it interesting, using #HowToTakeTheLead

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You can find out more about Lee Griffith via www.sundayskies.com and about Carrie-Ann Wade at www.cats-pajamas.co.uk

Get social with us via:

Lee on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Carrie-Ann on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Transcript
Lee:

You're not suggesting I have to become besties with bozo boris, do

Carrie-Ann:

no I don't think I don't think there's any chance

Carrie-Ann:

that you would even agree to.

Lee:

Hello, it's another week.

Lee:

How are you doing?

Carrie-Ann:

I'm doing really well.

Carrie-Ann:

Thank you.

Carrie-Ann:

It's lovely to see you.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't believe.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, I can't believe it's another week already.

Carrie-Ann:

Another episode of the prep podcast.

Lee:

Yes.

Lee:

if you had a good week, how's your week been?

Carrie-Ann:

It's not been too bad and I've started my day to day

Carrie-Ann:

with a dip in the sea, which is a really nice start to the day.

Carrie-Ann:

I wish that could be every day, but yeah, it was making me think about

Carrie-Ann:

sort of routines and what gets you, what gets you going in the day?

Carrie-Ann:

So hopefully I'm on good form.

Carrie-Ann:

ready for an interesting debate.

Lee:

I just had a cup of tea and catching up on the neighbor's finale week, which is

Carrie-Ann:

my goodness.

Carrie-Ann:

I know.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, and it's like, everyone's gonna be in this episode.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't wait to see what's.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Lee:

I know.

Lee:

Have you been watching, have you got back into it and watching it

Carrie-Ann:

I haven't really, but I've done a record for finale week

Carrie-Ann:

just so I can, so I can binge watch.

Lee:

I started watching about three weeks ago and there's been a steady

Lee:

stream of old faces and it's like proper bringing out the nostalgia in me.

Lee:

I'm this short from driving over to my parents' house and digging out my

Lee:

original 1980s neighbors board game.

Lee:

But

Carrie-Ann:

19 eight.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh my that has gotta be worth some money.

Carrie-Ann:

Hasn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

Now, now, now there's gonna be no more neighbors.

Lee:

I've got nobody to play with because the husband, husband doesn't

Lee:

want anything to do with it or me.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, no one to play with that makes me we'll have to have

Carrie-Ann:

a neighbor's board game meet up.

Lee:

fabulous.

Carrie-Ann:

We've gotta wear eighties clothes though.

Lee:

yes.

Carrie-Ann:

stone wash denim, oversized jeans, and

Lee:

Well, I've got, I've got the curly hair now, so that's probably

Carrie-Ann:

I was gonna say a crop top, but I thought, no, nobody

Carrie-Ann:

needs to see me in a crop top.

Lee:

No, no, well, no, no, not to you.

Lee:

I'm I'm agree.

Carrie-Ann:

yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Cheers mate.

Lee:

I'm agreeing that isn't a look that one wants to see of me either.

Lee:

anyway, as much as I would love for this to be a neighbor's appreciation

Lee:

podcast today, it's not we are back with regular, how to take the lead content.

Lee:

And today we are revisiting, through a different lens, I think a topic

Lee:

that we've talked about a few, a few times before, certainly when

Lee:

we were doing our lives over on Insta we've covered it quite a lot.

Lee:

And that's diversity and inclusion.

Lee:

So whether it's race, gender, sexuality, religion but I wanted to revisit the

Lee:

topic because for all the supportive talk that there's been and, and, you

Lee:

know, the, the movements that we've seen over the last couple of years, I'm

Lee:

starting to question how much action is actually being taken by leaders and

Lee:

organizations beyond the tick box stuff or meeting their statutory commitments.

Lee:

And sometimes they're not even doing that and I will be getting on a soapbox later

Carrie-Ann:

I've got your soapbox ready for you, Lee.

Carrie-Ann:

Cuz I thought that might happen today.

Lee:

But I'm talking here about real action where leaders are taking up

Lee:

causes as their own, where they're challenging oppression, where they see

Lee:

it, where they're perhaps giving way to other people to allow others who aren't

Lee:

as privileged as them to come forward.

Lee:

And I suppose I want to understand, why we are not further forward, why the same

Lee:

struggles and issues are being perpetuated and what can and should leaders be doing?

Lee:

And I suppose I come from this conversation, not as an expert,

Lee:

and I know you, you won't be professing to be as such, either.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely not.

Lee:

We're far from being experts.

Lee:

We're both still learning.

Lee:

We openly recognize our own bias and privileges that we have.

Lee:

And I'm sure that there will have been opportunities that I could have

Lee:

been, could still be a better ally.

Lee:

And it's that, that concept of allyship that I really want to explore today.

Lee:

And I know not everyone likes the term ally preferring terms that are perhaps

Lee:

a bit more action led, which again is, is a focus of our discussion today.

Lee:

But I do want to, to stick with the term ally, because I think it's a

Lee:

simple enough word that most people will understand what's meant by it.

Lee:

And I don't want to get in a protracted discussion around

Lee:

what's an alternative term to use.

Lee:

I think when we have spoken about allyship previously.

Lee:

And when you traditionally think about it in the workplace, it's perhaps been

Lee:

focused on those people in your network, who advocate for you, for example, or

Lee:

speak up for you or support your ideas.

Lee:

And we've talked about this in previous episodes in the introvert one, I was

Lee:

saying that I use my support network, my, my allies to help get my point across

Lee:

in meetings, when I felt like I perhaps wasn't gonna be so effective in doing so.

Lee:

But I think being an ally is more than just supporting your friends.

Lee:

And in a work setting I don't think we've always thought about the

Lee:

different ways we could perhaps provide allyship, especially as a leader.

Lee:

So that's why I wanted to focus through a slightly different angle

Lee:

than how we've covered it before.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

I, I think you've raised some really interesting points there, Lee, and

Carrie-Ann:

I think, I dunno, I think there's an opportunity for everybody leader

Carrie-Ann:

or not to take some time to reflect on what it means to be an ally.

Carrie-Ann:

And you're absolutely right.

Carrie-Ann:

It's not about being a support and an advocate for the

Carrie-Ann:

people you know or your mates.

Carrie-Ann:

It's got to go beyond that.

Carrie-Ann:

And I'm, I'm gonna be interested to see where this discussion takes us

Carrie-Ann:

today, but absolutely like you not professing to be an expert at all.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm on a, a learning journey even this week, I've had an opportunity to reflect

Carrie-Ann:

on how I can be a better, a better ally and more about the reasons why maybe I

Carrie-Ann:

didn't take action on something, which has been really interesting for me to reflect

Carrie-Ann:

on something for me to, to, you know, have in the front of my mind as I move forward.

Carrie-Ann:

So we're absolutely not having this conversation saying we've got all

Carrie-Ann:

the answers and we are gonna give you the toolkit to be a better ally

Carrie-Ann:

as a leader, but it is an important conversation, not just for us to be

Carrie-Ann:

having, but, but for others to be having, I think because you are right.

Carrie-Ann:

I think some of my experiences, the, the tick box stuff.

Carrie-Ann:

So leaders and organizations just, yep.

Carrie-Ann:

We've, we've achieved that tick it off tick it off.

Carrie-Ann:

And sometimes, you know what what's being ticked off in a, a leader's

Carrie-Ann:

list of actions they need to take to be a more inclusive organization.

Carrie-Ann:

Isn't always what it feels like further into that organization to work there.

Carrie-Ann:

So I just feel like it's a constant area that people need to be focused on.

Carrie-Ann:

And thinking about, to be honest with you, because there's always

Carrie-Ann:

more we can do, but like you.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, what's the action we can take.

Carrie-Ann:

And some of it will be about us as individuals.

Carrie-Ann:

And some of it will be that bigger organizational piece

Lee:

mm.

Lee:

So you are right about that constantly need to be working on it.

Lee:

And I suppose my starting point for, for the discussion is the why.

Lee:

So why does it matter?

Lee:

Why should we be working on it?

Lee:

Why is it good for leaders and organizations to be better allies?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, I guess from, from my point of view, I'd

Carrie-Ann:

start almost with the internal.

Carrie-Ann:

So myself as a leader, I I'm gonna have my own set of biases because

Carrie-Ann:

of my own personal experience.

Carrie-Ann:

Kind of my learned beliefs, my opinions, the experiences that I've had through

Carrie-Ann:

my life and my working life are all going to have an impact in some way on

Carrie-Ann:

the way in which I, I choose to lead.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, there's something about the importance of being able to

Carrie-Ann:

reflect on and understand more about your own biases and privileges, and

Carrie-Ann:

more importantly, then the impacts that they're having on other people.

Carrie-Ann:

Cause if you are in a role as a leader, you are there to encourage develop,

Carrie-Ann:

support other people to grow, to take people on a journey with you towards

Carrie-Ann:

some sort of common goal or purpose.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually, if you don't understand the impact of your own biases on other

Carrie-Ann:

people who are different to you and who have different experiences to you,

Carrie-Ann:

then that's potentially I think gonna cause issues in, in building those

Carrie-Ann:

relationships and, and being able to lead.

Lee:

that's really important.

Lee:

And that sense, I know we've got another episode coming up around trust, but I

Lee:

do think that understanding and that connection with your teams and knowing

Lee:

what they might need and how that might be different from you is a really

Lee:

important part of building that trust.

Lee:

If you look at it from a, from the flip side, I suppose if people don't feel

Lee:

comfortable or welcome in the workplace, we know what the implications of that are.

Lee:

They're more likely to leave.

Lee:

They're probably gonna be feeling quite stressed or having some form

Lee:

of illness in, or definitely feel unsafe in the workplace that has

Lee:

ripples and a whole knock on effect to the culture of an organization.

Lee:

And we know, we've talked about this a lot, that the impact it can

Lee:

have on productivity, on innovation, on the customer experience, on

Lee:

staff, morale, all of these things.

Lee:

And that's why you need to create a sense of safety and security for your employees.

Lee:

And that's all your employees, not just the majority.

Carrie-Ann:

And that is that culture piece.

Carrie-Ann:

I think that you've raised, that resonates with me in terms of what

Carrie-Ann:

culture are you trying to create and embed in your organization?

Carrie-Ann:

And as you say, if, if the culture you're creating isn't one where people

Carrie-Ann:

from whatever background feel like they can grow and thrive, and they

Carrie-Ann:

therefore performing well, being productive, all of those things you've

Carrie-Ann:

mentioned then actually, what sort of organization have you got, cuz you're

Carrie-Ann:

not gonna be delivering on your vision and your goals as an organization.

Carrie-Ann:

So I, I think that piece you've raised around the impact on culture

Carrie-Ann:

for me probably is really important.

Carrie-Ann:

We hear, we hear all the sayings don't we culture eats strategy for breakfast,

Lee:

Mm.

Carrie-Ann:

culture drives performance and all of that kind of stuff.

Carrie-Ann:

So I, I think that link is, is probably a really strong one organizationally..

Lee:

So you've got the why, why it's important.

Lee:

And then I suppose there's the what?

Lee:

So we know that there are the big topics that people focusing on,

Lee:

race, sexuality, gender as examples.

Lee:

But it doesn't start or stop there, I suppose, in terms of opportunities

Lee:

to show allyship, we know that it's intricate, it's complex, it's nuanced.

Lee:

It's very different for different people.

Lee:

People often fall into two or more marginalized groups.

Lee:

So it's not like you can just pick someone up and put them in their little

Lee:

box and, and that's it sorted, you know, who they are and how to treat them.

Lee:

And I think organizations do try to put, pick people up and

Lee:

put them in their little box.

Lee:

And that's probably one of the issues that, that we need to discuss.

Lee:

So when we talk about allyship, what could that encompass, I

Lee:

suppose, what does showing up as an ally look like in the workplace?

Carrie-Ann:

I think there's a couple of things for me that spring to mind

Carrie-Ann:

as you're speaking, I guess the first one is about that, understanding

Carrie-Ann:

that listening and that that point you've made about not labeling people

Carrie-Ann:

and judging them and, oh, right.

Carrie-Ann:

They've got one label.

Carrie-Ann:

So that's where they fit, because actually, like you say, we've all got lots

Carrie-Ann:

of different things that are impacting on our ability to show up day to day.

Carrie-Ann:

And it's not always as straightforward as oh, because they've got X disability

Carrie-Ann:

they're not able or less able to do something or because they're

Carrie-Ann:

a woman that this is the impact.

Carrie-Ann:

Everybody's more than one thing.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think the bit for me around what you can do is start to think about

Carrie-Ann:

how you can create a safe space for debate and enable colleagues in your

Carrie-Ann:

organization or your team members to be able to feel like there's

Carrie-Ann:

psychological safety within the team and the organization that they work for.

Carrie-Ann:

And that actually, if they choose to raise an issue, the way that that

Carrie-Ann:

is responded to is going to be in a positive way that actually they're

Carrie-Ann:

encouraged to raise concerns and issues about how they're being treated.

Carrie-Ann:

How processes are impacting them, for example, in the workplace.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think, you have to try to create that safe space to have the conversation

Carrie-Ann:

because you have to understand the other person's point of view and where they're

Carrie-Ann:

coming from and what the issues are.

Carrie-Ann:

You can't just sit at the top of an organization and assume that, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

best, you have to be able to listen.

Carrie-Ann:

And check back in.

Carrie-Ann:

I think that what you're hearing is what that person or that group

Carrie-Ann:

of people are trying to say to you.

Carrie-Ann:

So, I guess there's lots of practical ways.

Carrie-Ann:

You can try to do that through things like staff networking, you know, the

Carrie-Ann:

organization that I currently work in, there's got a whole host of staff

Carrie-Ann:

networks, and it's really interesting the point you made about labels,

Carrie-Ann:

because we do have, for example, a disability staff network and then

Carrie-Ann:

actually feedback from colleagues was, well, the disability that I've got

Carrie-Ann:

doesn't ever really get talked about in that network because it's too broad.

Carrie-Ann:

So then actually we've other like smaller network groups

Carrie-Ann:

have, have come off of that.

Carrie-Ann:

So we've got a group that's for people with dyslexia, for example.

Carrie-Ann:

So it's just quite interesting that I think we try to put these

Carrie-Ann:

big, broad labels on things and it is so much more complicated than

Carrie-Ann:

that, but actually hearing what people are saying means you can take

Carrie-Ann:

action to help give them that voice.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

And we've had this discussion before as women.

Lee:

And our sense of we are women leaders who don't have children and often

Lee:

discussions around supporting women in the workplace is supporting women to

Lee:

juggle childcare and being a mother and all that, which is really important,

Lee:

but that isn't our experience.

Lee:

And we don't necessarily always feel like we got a voice.

Lee:

Our identity wasn't recognized because we didn't fall into that

Lee:

nice piece of work people were doing around flexible working for moms.

Carrie-Ann:

absolutely agree with that.

Carrie-Ann:

Then sometimes the impact of how that's made.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't speak for you, but made me feel is that I've got it easier

Carrie-Ann:

because I don't have that caring responsibility for children.

Carrie-Ann:

So like you say it, it is those unintended consequences, isn't

Carrie-Ann:

it of labeling things too much.

Carrie-Ann:

Now I'm not saying it's not important to do those pieces of work, but if

Carrie-Ann:

you only choose to focus on one, what's the unintended consequence on,

Carrie-Ann:

on other groups of people who then might feel disenfranchised because

Carrie-Ann:

the impacts for them are different.

Carrie-Ann:

And then I guess that the other thing that just spring to mind as you,

Carrie-Ann:

you were talking then asking that question was around what your role

Carrie-Ann:

is as a role model and a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think part of creating that safe space is openly demonstrating that you

Carrie-Ann:

are okay to have some of those difficult conversations and it absolutely doesn't

Carrie-Ann:

and shouldn't be about these are the things where I feel I'm hard done by

Carrie-Ann:

because that's, that's not what you should be doing as a leader and making

Carrie-Ann:

it about yourself, but it should be about being able to talk about things

Carrie-Ann:

and share some of your own experience to demonstrate to others that you are gonna

Carrie-Ann:

be open to having those conversations.

Carrie-Ann:

So, for me, at my most recent example would be around the menopause.

Carrie-Ann:

So, you know, part of being a woman in the workplace, part of reaching

Carrie-Ann:

an age or a stage in your life is that at some point you you will hit

Carrie-Ann:

the menopause and that will have impacts for you in your working life.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually it's only been very recently that people have felt more

Carrie-Ann:

open and able to talk about that.

Carrie-Ann:

But I, in a couple of conversations in the workplace recently i've been

Carrie-Ann:

getting very forgetful actually and thinking, am I perimenopausal?

Carrie-Ann:

And I've actually said that in a couple of meetings and it's been really

Carrie-Ann:

interesting to see people's response, cuz some people have been a bit.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, I wasn't expecting you to say that.

Carrie-Ann:

Like now I, now I don't really know how to respond.

Carrie-Ann:

You're like, oh, I'm really sorry.

Carrie-Ann:

I forgot that.

Carrie-Ann:

Honestly, I think I'm perimenopausal and it's having a real impact on me,

Carrie-Ann:

but actually in other conversations, it's really opened up a dialogue

Carrie-Ann:

where other people have gone, oh God, I'm really glad you've said that.

Carrie-Ann:

Cuz you know, I've been experiencing that, but I haven't really felt

Carrie-Ann:

able to say, cuz just saying I've, you know, got a bit forgetful.

Carrie-Ann:

I've got brain fog feels like a bit of a cop out, but actually

Carrie-Ann:

now I've heard you say it.

Carrie-Ann:

So there's just something about, doesn't have to be always big things, but just

Carrie-Ann:

in how you are interacting as a leader, are you making it okay for people to

Carrie-Ann:

disclose and be open about the things that are impacting them in the workplace?

Lee:

I mean, you say that it not a big thing.

Lee:

That probably was a bloody big thing for that person.

Lee:

Who's who perhaps silently struggling and feeling like they

Lee:

couldn't a B their authentic self and, and be open about what, what

Lee:

they were feeling at that moment.

Lee:

And I think, yeah, you just speaking your truth has enabled someone else to go a

Lee:

there's someone that's like me and B.

Lee:

Oh, it's okay to talk about this here.

Lee:

So don't belittle that encounter.

Lee:

I think that's a big one.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

So, so they were the couple of things that in, I mean, loads more

Carrie-Ann:

obviously, but like sprung to my mind as you were kind of there.

Lee:

I think as leaders in organizations you are in such a powerful position

Lee:

to make change happen and to change the system that perhaps are

Lee:

being oppressive to other people.

Lee:

And I think we can underestimate that and think it's got to be

Lee:

aligned with, I don't know.

Lee:

Well, well make, yes, it's got to be aligned with big strategy and

Lee:

the direction of the organization but you can put that lens on there

Lee:

or you can reflect back how is this gonna impact on X, Y, and Z?

Lee:

And don't just leave it to the diversity and inclusion person to, to do their tick

Lee:

box, for example, when you make a change.

Lee:

So I do think there's a really big responsibility and opportunity you've

Lee:

got as a leader in terms of big change.

Lee:

And then I think there's the smaller moves that all leaders

Lee:

could and should be taking.

Lee:

So whether it is, I don't know, respecting someone's request to use a certain

Lee:

pronoun when they're being addressed.

Lee:

For example, it could be, if you are, as leaders are invited often to take part

Lee:

in panel discussions or to speak at a conference or to, I don't know, judge some

Lee:

awards or something, whatever it is, maybe you are interviewing and you'll say yes or

Lee:

no based on your preferences and whether it fits with what you want to do, but

Lee:

maybe as leaders, we should be doing more, not maybe we should be doing more around

Lee:

going well, who else is involved in this?

Lee:

Is it diverse enough?

Lee:

Am I perhaps holding a space that could be better used by someone else whose

Lee:

voice isn't heard that often and being a leader that is an ally, is someone that's

Lee:

willing to go, I'm gonna step back and give this opportunity to someone else.

Lee:

Or it could be finding someone in your organization that you can sponsor and

Lee:

make sure that you are helping them to get the best opportunities that they can.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and again, you know, we say they're little things, but

Carrie-Ann:

they're probably not for the people on the receiving end of that.

Carrie-Ann:

We like, we, we think actually in the grand scheme of our life as a leader

Carrie-Ann:

is it a big deal to give up a speaking opportunity and put someone else forward?

Carrie-Ann:

Probably not for us, but for the person that you might be putting forward that

Carrie-Ann:

will be a really massive opportunity.

Carrie-Ann:

And they're really practical things, as well as you're talking, I'm

Carrie-Ann:

thinking they are just so practical.

Carrie-Ann:

They're not things that are difficult to do.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think sometimes that's what happens in this space around

Carrie-Ann:

allyship and diversity and inclusion.

Carrie-Ann:

I think sometimes there's a fear that everything has to be like a big

Carrie-Ann:

statement and, and everything is too challenging to try to tackle because

Carrie-Ann:

there are such big issues, but actually it's those small steps and those

Carrie-Ann:

small things that really start to have an impact, particularly over time.

Lee:

And I do think sometimes the.

Lee:

I suppose the thought process, let's just take a panel discussion, for example,

Lee:

it could be is it my responsibility to check who else is on the panel?

Lee:

Is it my responsibility to give up my space?

Lee:

Should it not be for the conference person to do.

Lee:

My objective is to raise my profile and get my thought leadership out there.

Lee:

So why should I give way why can't someone else do that?

Lee:

But if we all think like that, it needs someone to start taking the first step

Lee:

and to start putting that challenge in.

Lee:

So why not be you, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, exactly.

Carrie-Ann:

Change will never happen.

Carrie-Ann:

If we're all sat there thinking it's somebody else's job to do it.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, well, I won't do it because surely someone else should, because they're

Carrie-Ann:

more senior or they've had a longer career or whatever the thing is.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually, as you say, we are prob if we are all sat there doing

Carrie-Ann:

that change will never happen.

Carrie-Ann:

So,

Lee:

Mm Mm

Carrie-Ann:

yeah, be, be the change.

Lee:

So going back to the beginning where you were talking about the

Lee:

biases that we all have knowingly or unknowingly, where do you begin in

Lee:

identifying what your biases might be?

Lee:

How might you perhaps need to change if you've identified a bias or if you've

Lee:

decided actually, I don't think I am being visible enough on a certain issue.

Carrie-Ann:

I think the first place to start is a, being able

Carrie-Ann:

to feel open with yourself about doing that reflection piece.

Carrie-Ann:

I think you do need to spend some time reflecting on maybe some of the

Carrie-Ann:

stereotypes that you may have of different groups of people, some of the prejudices

Carrie-Ann:

that you may have and being really honest with yourself about what they are.

Carrie-Ann:

And maybe trying to understand a little bit more about where they've come from.

Carrie-Ann:

Again, is it that about learned beliefs early on in life, for example, where have

Carrie-Ann:

those opinions and thoughts come from?

Carrie-Ann:

I think there's something about taking responsibility

Carrie-Ann:

to educate yourself as well.

Carrie-Ann:

And there are so many resources out there I'm probably gonna mention this

Carrie-Ann:

one, a lot, but something that I've found really helpful in terms of kind

Carrie-Ann:

of challenging my own thinking is a, a book called diversify by June Sarpong.

Carrie-Ann:

It's all around how to challenge inequality and, and why we

Carrie-Ann:

should do it and not just in the workspace, but in life in general.

Carrie-Ann:

For me, that book, I talk about it probably a bit more later, but that, that

Carrie-Ann:

book has been really helpful in terms of feeling able to challenge my own thinking

Carrie-Ann:

and my own perceptions and giving me ideas about what I can do to change my practice.

Carrie-Ann:

And that's not just the one book, there's absolutely tons of resources out there.

Carrie-Ann:

And then I think there's also something about as you are moving through your

Carrie-Ann:

daily life as a leader, and it's gonna sound, I dunno, I dunno how people

Carrie-Ann:

take this, there's something about practicing mindfulness, but for me, I

Carrie-Ann:

mean, mindfulness specifically focused on being aware of the thoughts and

Carrie-Ann:

associations you're having, when you are dealing with people who maybe

Carrie-Ann:

are different to you and, and then being able to process those and think

Carrie-Ann:

through the impact that they're having and why you're having those thoughts.

Carrie-Ann:

So that, that was just some of my initial thinking, but I, I know you'll

Carrie-Ann:

have more to say, I'm sure on that.

Lee:

Well, one, one of the things that, and we've talked about

Lee:

leaders, making sure they're not in their own echo chamber.

Lee:

And I think this is one where it's a really important area to question Am

Lee:

I surrounded by the same people or people that are just look and talk

Lee:

and have the same thoughts of me.

Lee:

If, if you are in that situation, you you're really

Lee:

likely to have a strong bias.

Lee:

We know diversity breeds, diverse thinking and approaches.

Lee:

So there is something about that and I'm just completely coincidentally I'm

Lee:

reading Matthew Syed's rebel ideas at the moment and on the train home last night,

Lee:

he's got a whole chapter on echo chambers and it was really interesting that he

Lee:

was talking about echo chambers is not about ignoring alternative sources of

Lee:

information, but about undermining trust in alternative sources of information.

Lee:

And it just got me thinking that so often that sense of your bias

Lee:

and belief and trust in something.

Lee:

If you're surrounded by loads of people saying the same stuff, and there's only

Lee:

one voice saying something else, do you have that trust in the information?

Lee:

Are you gonna challenge?

Lee:

Are you gonna really look at it?

Lee:

I suppose, as a leader, ensuring that you are getting a variety of voices around

Lee:

your table in your ear, however you want to do it, but also not just taking all

Lee:

of that at face value as well and doing your own work and even the work that

Lee:

you do and what you read, questioning it and, and trying to come from it from a

Lee:

really neutral point of view and suppose it's that triangulation piece as well.

Lee:

Isn't it?

Lee:

It's, it's always important that you don't just take everything face value.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, it's, it's funny.

Carrie-Ann:

You should say that in diversify, actually there's a chapter called

Carrie-Ann:

the other view which is quite near to the end of the book, actually.

Carrie-Ann:

And it is about how you, once you've understood more about your own biases

Carrie-Ann:

and prejudices, how you then seek out the other view and there's steps in

Carrie-Ann:

there about, we've talked about this already creating a safe space for debate.

Carrie-Ann:

There's also something in there about finding the middle ground as

Lee:

Mm

Carrie-Ann:

That actually that will help you with some of that challenging,

Carrie-Ann:

not taking things on face value.

Carrie-Ann:

Sometimes that can be hard to do, but can you find that middle ground,

Carrie-Ann:

not being complacent in terms of your own behaviors, but also like

Carrie-Ann:

you've said what, what feedback you are getting, don't be complacent in

Carrie-Ann:

just taking that at face value and going right tick that's that done?

Carrie-Ann:

That's what the data tells us.

Carrie-Ann:

And then being open to facing the challenge.

Carrie-Ann:

But one of the things it made me think about when you were talking

Carrie-Ann:

about that chapter of the book was there's an exercise that it

Carrie-Ann:

challenges you to do, which is to go to the website of a political party

Carrie-Ann:

that has the opposite views of you.

Carrie-Ann:

And basically almost.

Carrie-Ann:

To kind of take that in and then, and then do a review of that and identify

Carrie-Ann:

where that challenge comes from for you.

Carrie-Ann:

Why that feels difficult, but also trying to open your mind to why

Carrie-Ann:

they might have that point of view.

Carrie-Ann:

So I mean, difficult one to do for many people, I'm sure, but I just, it's

Carrie-Ann:

quite interesting as a sort of practical way forward to, to test out how you

Carrie-Ann:

can not take things on face value and really start to dig underneath what

Carrie-Ann:

your own prejudices and biases are.

Lee:

You're not suggesting I have to become besties with bozo boris, do

Carrie-Ann:

no I don't think I don't think there's any chance

Carrie-Ann:

that you would even agree to.

Carrie-Ann:

attempt to become anything close to even an acquaintance of bozo.

Lee:

But you are right in the point.

Lee:

And my husband tells me this all the time when I go off on one about our

Lee:

beloved government at the moment.

Lee:

And whilst he is impartial in his political views.

Lee:

He does challenge me to not just dismiss things that they say, because they're not

Lee:

someone that ideologically aligns with me.

Lee:

And I through gritted teeth agree with that and actually, separately

Lee:

have been listening to the rest is politics podcast with Rory Stewart on

Lee:

and I've then been raving about how, how I've been loving him, and I've really

Lee:

warmed to him and, and he just goes, you do realize he's a tory don't you.

Lee:

And I'm like, yes, yes I do.

Lee:

He goes, so you do realize that my points that I previously made, I thought, okay,

Carrie-Ann:

you do realize that I told you so Lee, but all of

Carrie-Ann:

that is about challenging some of our own Biase isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

And being open to hearing different points of view and understanding

Carrie-Ann:

where other people are coming from.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and it doesn't always mean that you.

Carrie-Ann:

I have to agree with it.

Carrie-Ann:

And it also doesn't always mean that it will resonate with you if that's not

Carrie-Ann:

your experience, but you have to accept that other people have a different

Carrie-Ann:

experience to you and that's okay.

Carrie-Ann:

Or sometimes it's not okay because their experience is negative.

Carrie-Ann:

But what I mean is, you know, you, you can't be judging everybody and

Carrie-Ann:

taking your own actions based solely on your own personal experience.

Lee:

Yeah, there are a couple of things that you mentioned that

Lee:

I just wanted to come back on.

Lee:

One was the thing around data and the data that you get as a leader.

Lee:

And I do think that there is I suppose a warning that needs to come with

Lee:

data, because you might assume something isn't an issue because it isn't

Lee:

perhaps statistically significant.

Lee:

And when you are looking at big numbers and big reports, something

Lee:

doesn't stick out as an issue.

Lee:

But I think when it comes to matters of inclusion and ensuring that you are

Lee:

having equal opportunities or whatever it might be in your organization.

Lee:

I don't think you can assume that issues are invalid because

Lee:

you don't have statistically significant data to go with it.

Lee:

So I do think you need to take data with caution.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, a hundred percent and there's something for me about do you

Carrie-Ann:

even really feel like, you know, how to delve into that data to understand

Carrie-Ann:

what it's telling you because on face value, it might be telling you one

Carrie-Ann:

thing that gives you your big tick in the box, yeah, we're doing really well

Carrie-Ann:

on that one, but actually the point you made earlier about triangulation.

Carrie-Ann:

Are you able to triangulate that and then, and then see that that is valid or

Carrie-Ann:

actually, do you need to dig a bit deeper to understand that actually the data's

Carrie-Ann:

not telling you quite what you think.

Carrie-Ann:

And again, the data might say one thing, but the experience lived

Carrie-Ann:

experience in your organization might be quite different.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and I often think that about staff surveys when people get really

Carrie-Ann:

excited, because they've got a really high percentage of you know, Women have

Carrie-Ann:

responded or a really high percentage of, of people from a certain ethnic

Carrie-Ann:

group have responded to the survey, which is brilliant, but I'm always

Carrie-Ann:

more interested in the people who haven't responded because what's the

Carrie-Ann:

reason that they're not engaging.

Carrie-Ann:

I, yeah, I do think you do have to take data with that health warning that it, I

Carrie-Ann:

don't think it can just be about the data that's being presented to you as a leader.

Lee:

No.

Lee:

And then the other area I wanted to pick up was on the notion of education

Lee:

and absolutely this is really important.

Lee:

We said this on the outset, we all need to continually educate ourselves.

Lee:

And there are lots of ways that you can do that.

Lee:

It isn't just about, oh, I've read a book and now I know what I need to do.

Lee:

I think there is , again, we need to be mindful of the burden we might be

Lee:

placing on other people because I think often we'll go, right, well, you know,

Lee:

it's that person's responsibility to educate me if you've got a designated

Lee:

person, for example, in your organization, or I don't know, you've

Lee:

got a friend who fits into the box of the issue that you are researching.

Lee:

And therefore you think that they are the person that's gonna have

Lee:

to answer your questions now.

Lee:

They've got no responsibility to answer your questions.

Lee:

I think you almost have to ask permission of someone before you approach them

Lee:

and ask them questions to further your own knowledge and, and understanding.

Lee:

I think you need to make sure you approach them with humility

Lee:

and have an open attitude , and you're not having a discussion

Lee:

to have a debate or a challenge.

Lee:

It's about asking questions that is gonna help you in a non

Lee:

defensive way, learn about where you might need to improve stuff.

Lee:

So, you know, it's not necessarily going to your friend and going, can you educate

Lee:

me on the history of slavery and why, why it's such an issue for you nowadays

Lee:

as an example it might be going to colleagues in your organization asking

Lee:

permission to have a conversation with them and then asking them, you know,

Lee:

what are you finding the most challenging working here that I might not be able

Lee:

to see, or if there's one thing that me and the team could do to improve your

Lee:

experience here, what would that be?

Lee:

What advice would you give me so that I can be a better ally for you?

Lee:

So asking nonjudgmental nondirective questions that are really open and

Lee:

then be willing to listen to those back to the triangulation point.

Lee:

I do think that just speaking to one person and getting one person's

Lee:

experience doesn't mean that they're talking on behalf of everyone else

Lee:

that's affected by that issue.

Lee:

So I do think you need to speak to a variety of people

Lee:

and, and test it as well.

Lee:

And then there's that thing around not projecting your thoughts and

Lee:

attitudes or behaviors onto others.

Lee:

We've already spoken in this episode about being women leaders who aren't

Lee:

mothers, but we can't assume that our views on that are the same to as

Lee:

other women who were in our position.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think, I think we, you it's about being respectful, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

And nonjudgmental.

Carrie-Ann:

And I like how you described approaching those conversations, because it's not

Carrie-Ann:

about you having a debate or if you're gonna go into that space to learn, you're

Carrie-Ann:

having a learning conversation where you are open to hearing what that other person

Carrie-Ann:

says and, and genuinely wanting to learn and understand more and not going oh,

Carrie-Ann:

That's the opposite of my own experience, so I'm gonna challenge that now.

Carrie-Ann:

It's not about having a debate.

Carrie-Ann:

It's about learning.

Carrie-Ann:

So if that's the route you're taking to educate yourself, you're absolutely right.

Carrie-Ann:

You have to be open minded and nonjudgmental in that space.

Carrie-Ann:

I think, because again, we've mentioned trust before, you're trying to build

Carrie-Ann:

trust in people to want to open up to you and actually people who maybe do feel

Carrie-Ann:

marginalized or disenfranchised, sometimes won't find it as easy to say to you.

Carrie-Ann:

This is what it feels like to work here because they're worried

Carrie-Ann:

it's gonna have an impact on them.

Carrie-Ann:

So again, it's about how are you creating that safe space to have that

Carrie-Ann:

debate and conversation where people feel that they're not gonna be blamed

Carrie-Ann:

or judged or negatively impacted by actually telling you their truth?

Lee:

I think that's situational and cultural awareness, there will be

Lee:

cultural norms, for example, that women won't In some cultures, women don't

Lee:

like to give negative feedback for example, or they won't be challenging

Lee:

or negative to their seniors.

Lee:

And that's just the way that they are.

Lee:

And you need to have an understanding of that before you

Lee:

enter into a dialogue, don't you?

Lee:

I think that one of the other areas that I definitely would like to see more

Lee:

progress on is that support in the moment.

Lee:

And I think leaders can be doing that now.

Lee:

Don't wait until afterwards, I've seen situations where something's happened.,

Lee:

That's been really awkward and then afterwards, the boss comes in and has a

Lee:

quiet word with you and goes, I'm really sorry that, you know, that happened.

Lee:

Or they try and apologize on behalf of someone else that said something really

Lee:

inappropriate and go, well, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

That's what

Carrie-Ann:

they're

Lee:

mean it, they were, yeah, they were only joking or whatever,

Lee:

you know, which is gaslighting.

Lee:

And I know not everyone likes that term, but I think we need to be as leaders,

Lee:

really mindful of how we are managing and showing up in situations when

Lee:

things occur, but also in situations,

Lee:

so let's just say, if you are in a group where you're a man,

Lee:

you are with a group of men.

Lee:

Someone makes a sexist comment or a joke, don't think, oh,

Lee:

I can let it slide this time.

Lee:

Cause there's no women around to see me be an ally.

Lee:

I think there's something about being consistent in showing up and tackling it.

Lee:

It's the same with conversations about racism in your family.

Lee:

If older people have certain views and you shouldn't just let it slide because it's

Carrie-Ann:

It's generational or it's it's generational.

Carrie-Ann:

Don't worry about it.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

It's funny.

Carrie-Ann:

You should mention that.

Carrie-Ann:

I, I saw on TV last night, actually the hope United advert where it's

Carrie-Ann:

all the female footballers, who it's like little clips of them.

Carrie-Ann:

How they faced sexism in what they're doing.

Carrie-Ann:

And then actually there's a male football team that comes on to basically say

Carrie-Ann:

it's not their job to challenge sexism.

Carrie-Ann:

It's our job.

Carrie-Ann:

We have to stop the sex hate basically.

Carrie-Ann:

And I thought, oh, that's quite interesting.

Carrie-Ann:

It was quite, quite powerful, actually.

Lee:

so we know that employees want their leaders to be speaking up and speaking out

Lee:

on the issues that are important to them.

Lee:

We've seen this in all sorts of surveys and research that's been done over the

Lee:

last few years, but one of the reasons I often hear that leaders aren't able

Lee:

or feel scared to speak up on some issues, is that fear that they're

Lee:

gonna get it wrong, or if they get it wrong, they're gonna be canceled.

Lee:

So how do you get over that?

Lee:

If that is where you genuinely are at, at the moment, you just

Lee:

don't really know what to do.

Carrie-Ann:

I think that comes back to that point where you were saying

Carrie-Ann:

about the education piece and also all that stuff you talked about around

Carrie-Ann:

your not being in an echo chamber.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think if there is a, a topic that it is really clear that you should

Carrie-Ann:

be speaking out about, but you've got that fear factor of like, oh, I'm

Carrie-Ann:

gonna say the wrong thing, I don't understand enough about this issue.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, am I gonna make it worse?

Carrie-Ann:

If I say something.

Carrie-Ann:

Are you doing enough to seek out some advice from the people who are impacted

Carrie-Ann:

by that issue to understand actually what it is that they need from you?

Carrie-Ann:

Because actually, if you are able to hear that and understand that from people,

Carrie-Ann:

then I think that will make you feel less fearful about the reason behind

Carrie-Ann:

what the statement that you're making or the action that you're planning to take.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, I think, I don't wanna say it's like a comfort blanket, but it's

Carrie-Ann:

that security that actually you're not just speaking out and saying

Carrie-Ann:

it because it's your opinion on it.

Carrie-Ann:

you're actually doing that in an educated and informed way.

Carrie-Ann:

And you are asking people in your workforce, what is it that

Carrie-Ann:

we need to do to support this?

Carrie-Ann:

And again, Being conscious of don't just go to the diversity and inclusion

Carrie-Ann:

lead, cuz that's usually one person it's not one person's job, but you know,

Carrie-Ann:

have you got a diverse enough group of people around you that you can have a

Carrie-Ann:

bit of a debate and conversation about what's the right thing to do here, we

Carrie-Ann:

do need to make a statement, speak out.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna front it, but I just need to just almost have that sense check, I

Carrie-Ann:

think maybe before you say something, if it's fear of saying or doing the

Carrie-Ann:

wrong thing, that's holding you back.

Lee:

I think also that we go back to the fundamentals of being a good leader.

Lee:

We are all gonna get something wrong at some point.

Lee:

And as leaders, we shouldn't be striving for perfection.

Lee:

We should be able to fail and to be able to handle failure if it

Lee:

happens, because that is where true leaders grow and where they build the

Lee:

connection and all that kind of stuff.

Lee:

So I do think if you're in that mindset of it needs to be perfect.

Lee:

Just remember, as a leader, you should never be striving for that anyway.

Carrie-Ann:

And it's about being human, isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

And demonstrating compassion as a human being.

Carrie-Ann:

That's fundamentally what you need to do.

Carrie-Ann:

And like you say, if you're coming at it from the right place and doing that,

Carrie-Ann:

With integrity then, like you say, if you miss the mark and you get it wrong,

Carrie-Ann:

then you handle that at the time.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it's worse for leaders if they are not acting in a genuine

Carrie-Ann:

way that then when it goes wrong, it's much harder to deal with.

Carrie-Ann:

So as we've always talked about in how to take the lead, we think you

Carrie-Ann:

should be acting with integrity and authenticity, and then that's how

Carrie-Ann:

you should handle it, if it doesn't quite go, how you think it's going to.

Lee:

And I think if you are, again, looking at that from the perspective

Lee:

of how do you challenge and, and show allyship in the moment, if something's

Lee:

gonna happen, if someone perhaps shares a view or a thought that isn't supportive or

Lee:

isn't inclusive or whatever, and you need as a leader to demonstrate that you are

Lee:

going to speak up and stick up for other people in that moment, I think there's

Lee:

stuff that you could be doing in advance.

Lee:

So I think there are ways that you could perhaps prepare for cuz if

Lee:

you can guess the types of stuff that might be coming up, you could

Lee:

probably think back at examples where, previously, you could have gone oh,

Lee:

I, I could have, should have would've said something if I knew what to say.

Lee:

And you could use that as a basis of right, well what would I say?

Lee:

What questions or response could I give if something like this

Lee:

was to arise again in the future?

Lee:

I think if you prepare, you are more likely to say it when the moment arises.

Lee:

If you feel unprepared, you are more likely to let it slide.

Lee:

So I do think there's something about preparation.

Lee:

I think there's something about not worrying yourself that you need to

Lee:

have lots of facts and information to hand in order to be able to have

Lee:

an informed discussion with someone.

Lee:

Because I, I think often this isn't about challenging someone

Lee:

on the facts that isn't the thing that's there for the debate.

Lee:

It's trying to understand someone else's position and why

Lee:

they think or feel that way.

Lee:

And so I don't think you need to worry yourself with facts that stack up what you

Lee:

want to say or how you want to challenges it, is what's the questions you're gonna

Lee:

do to try and understand why someone else is behaving or saying something

Lee:

or whatever in the way that they do.

Carrie-Ann:

And sometimes it's about just nailing your colors to a mast isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

And saying that I'm really sorry, that's not acceptable.

Carrie-Ann:

That behavior, cuz you are right.

Carrie-Ann:

It's usually about behavior or an attitude or a statement that someone's made that

Carrie-Ann:

you are challenging rather than like you say facts and figures of things.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually I think you'd be very well respected as a leader if somebody shared

Carrie-Ann:

an opinion or a comment that clearly was not acceptable and was causing

Carrie-Ann:

harm to others by what they've said.

Carrie-Ann:

I think , just by saying that's not acceptable, that's not behavior that we

Carrie-Ann:

accept in this organization, that's not something that I'm willing to support,

Carrie-Ann:

I think will help you then open up the further debate about, okay, well,

Carrie-Ann:

action needs to be taken, but sometimes colleagues just need to see that you're

Carrie-Ann:

not gonna accept certain behaviors.

Lee:

so, right.

Lee:

I'm going there.

Lee:

I'm, I'm getting the soap box out because

Carrie-Ann:

I'm amazed.

Carrie-Ann:

It's taken this long, to be honest with you, Lee, I feel like

Carrie-Ann:

it's sort of been hovering there waiting for you to jump on it

Lee:

so something that has genuinely really upset me in the past week is the

Lee:

response to the cricket Scotland scandal.

Lee:

And it is a scandal.

Lee:

29 out of 31 tests on institutional racism were failed.

Lee:

They found 448 examples of institutional racism.

Lee:

It is a scandal.

Lee:

and on the day that the report was released I sat down and watched the

Lee:

full press conference that some of the players and their lawyer held.

Lee:

And the lawyer said that it was, you know, rightly this, this is a

Lee:

watershed moment for everyone, not just cricket, but then I came away and I

Lee:

saw hardly any comment on social media.

Lee:

There were no trending hashtags.

Lee:

Over the 24 hours that followed, and still to this day, I believe the

Lee:

leader of the Scottish government didn't make a comment on it.

Lee:

None of the sponsors of cricket Scotland made a comment on this issue.

Lee:

And I posted about it on all my socials more than once.

Lee:

And I got really little engagement on it too.

Lee:

And it really pissed me off.

Lee:

I mean, beyond pissed me off.

Lee:

I, I was just in, you know, what does it say about our society that

Lee:

we can pick and choose which causes we support when it comes to things

Lee:

like discrimination and racism.

Lee:

And it got me thinking, because I know some organizations on paper will think,

Lee:

well, this isn't relevant to them.

Lee:

They've already got it in hand.

Lee:

Maybe they think they're doing okay.

Lee:

Maybe their gender pay reports fine.

Lee:

Maybe they've shown that they've got a representative and diverse board.

Lee:

Maybe they've ticked all the boxes in their equality audits or whatever

Lee:

they might do as an organization.

Lee:

Maybe they've issued a few supportive statements over the time, or there's been

Lee:

some board papers about the big issues.

Lee:

Potentially they've made some donations.

Lee:

I, I don't know what, what they might do, but I want to get quite

Lee:

uncomfortable for a minute because I think if you are listening to this and

Lee:

you thinking like that, Then that's your complacency showing through right there.

Lee:

That's your bias and that's your privilege really showing up because

Lee:

none of those things are tangible actions that are really moving the dial.

Lee:

There's always more things that people can do.

Lee:

We are all still learning as we've we've already said.

Lee:

And I can guarantee you that if you go into one or more areas, or departments in

Lee:

your business and you ask open questions.

Lee:

If you really listen.

Lee:

If you put your biases aside, you are going to see so many

Lee:

opportunities to be a better ally.

Lee:

The words aren't enough without actions being taken.

Lee:

And I don't think the big gestures are enough without the

Lee:

steps happening along the way.

Lee:

So I say all that to say, my reflection and my question, I suppose, is do

Lee:

you think organizations are really ready for that to, to get involved,

Lee:

to advocate, to make change or have, have they just met their threshold now?

Lee:

Have they done what they can when there are so many other

Lee:

competing issues at hand?

Lee:

We know the urgent often pushes out the important.

Lee:

Have, have we seen that now with the discrimination and inclusion

Lee:

debates that are going on?

Lee:

We've certainly seen it with things like the economy versus climate change.

Lee:

And I wonder whether this is another victim of it being pushed

Lee:

out for, for more pressing issues.

Lee:

You know, what needs to happen next to, to get it back on the agenda?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, there is, there is so much in that isn't there and, and like

Carrie-Ann:

you say, I, I have to hold my hands up and say this week was a learning and

Carrie-Ann:

reflection opportunity for me because we've had some of this discussion already.

Carrie-Ann:

And I had to question why wasn't I, one of the people that actually

Carrie-Ann:

did something with what you shared on social media, given that I have

Carrie-Ann:

that direct link with you and, and.

Lee:

If F bombs were shared weren't they

Carrie-Ann:

yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

F bombs were shared.

Carrie-Ann:

But in, in genuine seriousness again, it's like trying to understand why

Carrie-Ann:

people might not be taking action and there's a personal bit for me there

Carrie-Ann:

about maybe for me, it was fear that I didn't know enough, but actually I

Carrie-Ann:

should have reframed that and gone, this is an opportunity to learn more.

Carrie-Ann:

Not, I'm not gonna be part of this conversation and debate and raise

Carrie-Ann:

awareness of this issue because I don't know enough actually what I

Carrie-Ann:

should be doing is raising awareness of it because I need to learn more.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, that was a really important reflection point.

Carrie-Ann:

And I just, I don't know if organizations and leaders are

Carrie-Ann:

having enough of that conversation about, what more do we need to do?

Carrie-Ann:

What action do we need to take?

Carrie-Ann:

And I think you are right.

Carrie-Ann:

There is a level of complacency across different organizations, I

Carrie-Ann:

think about we've ticked all our boxes, we've met all of our targets.

Carrie-Ann:

Maybe those targets are not extreme enough, maybe they're too easy to

Carrie-Ann:

achieve, so that people can feel like they've hit those targets.

Carrie-Ann:

And you talked about, have you got a diverse board?

Carrie-Ann:

That's usually a target for somebody and had a recent conversation about

Carrie-Ann:

an organization that basically was like, oh, well, we've hit our target on

Carrie-Ann:

diversity because we set ourselves out to have I think it was only like four

Carrie-Ann:

board members from diverse backgrounds.

Carrie-Ann:

And I'm like, shouldn't the target be that you've got less white

Carrie-Ann:

board members than anyone else.

Carrie-Ann:

Like maybe you are not pushing yourself enough.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, it's yeah, it's interesting.

Carrie-Ann:

I, I don't know what the answer is about how we kind of reignite

Carrie-Ann:

this debate in, into something that people actually can't ignore.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think that's part of the issue.

Carrie-Ann:

Isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

Other things get pushed out, the economy, the cost of living crisis,

Carrie-Ann:

all of that stuff now is probably on the minds of employers, more

Carrie-Ann:

than some of this debate and topic.

Carrie-Ann:

There's something for me, I find that really interesting, what you said about

Carrie-Ann:

like leaders across Scotland haven't stepped up to even share a thought or

Carrie-Ann:

comment or disappointment in anything that's been shared and actually, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

the stats that you gave from that report.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely shocking.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually are organizations clear that if this happened to

Carrie-Ann:

them, they wouldn't have 404.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't quite remember the stats, I don't wanna misquote you, but are

Carrie-Ann:

organization sure that they wouldn't be in that same position if they had

Carrie-Ann:

colleagues sat in a press conference saying that, do you really know what

Carrie-Ann:

your colleagues would be saying?

Carrie-Ann:

Do you know what the findings of a report like that on your organization would be?

Carrie-Ann:

And that should make you want to stand up and take notice.

Lee:

I've read all 55 pages of the report and know you

Lee:

don't need to be a cricket fan.

Lee:

You don't need to even understand cricket to, to glean lessons . This is about

Lee:

how an organization runs and works and supports the people that work within it,

Lee:

how it fosters an inclusive and supportive environment for people to work in.

Lee:

And the recommendations that are made, I could easily see them being

Lee:

recommendations in a hospital or in a supermarket or, or wherever it might be.

Lee:

They, they are generic in the sense of the impact that they have, because they're

Lee:

not about, you know, you need to bowl in a certain way or bat or whatever.

Lee:

I don't, I dunno my cricket.

Lee:

I don't, I

Carrie-Ann:

all of your sporting pros is coming out here, Lee , but

Carrie-Ann:

that's the point, isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

You don't need to know about cricket to know that the stuff in that report

Carrie-Ann:

is stuff that you should care about.

Carrie-Ann:

If you are part of an organization.

Carrie-Ann:

And that's part of my learning this week.

Carrie-Ann:

So thank you, Lee, for giving me a shake up.

Lee:

It worries me , because I think if we are going to get through the

Lee:

next few years with everything that we've got on the horizon with cost

Lee:

of living and this, that, and the other, we need to be pulling together

Lee:

and supporting each other as a society.

Lee:

If we don't stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves,

Lee:

then we are creating much larger divide than we are at the minute.

Lee:

And I do think we're setting ourselves up for a fall.

Lee:

I'm not necessarily a, a massive fan of having well, they do a good job

Lee:

diversity and inclusion managers in organizations don't get me wrong, but

Lee:

I do think organizations put all the weight with any type of topic when

Lee:

you've got a specialist in that area that leads it and takes responsibility

Lee:

for it, I think organisations then have that mentality with well

Lee:

that's so, and so's responsibility, they'll tell us what we need to do.

Lee:

And we'll engage at the points that we need to engage, but we don't

Lee:

need to get any further involved in the detail of the discussion.

Lee:

And I do think that it is seen most clearly in areas

Lee:

like diversity and inclusion.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, it makes people feel like they don't have

Carrie-Ann:

to take responsibility for it.

Carrie-Ann:

Cuz it's somebody else's job.

Carrie-Ann:

I use inverted commas it's somebody else's job to be worried about.

Carrie-Ann:

And it isn't, and we need to find a way to make this everybody's business.

Carrie-Ann:

It's all of our jobs and especially as leaders, but you know, if you're

Carrie-Ann:

an employee in an organization, you will have an impact on the culture.

Carrie-Ann:

You will have an influence, no matter how small it is.

Carrie-Ann:

And no matter how much you think you don't have one.

Carrie-Ann:

So it's everybody's job to do the right thing.

Lee:

So I don't think we've come to a conclusion and I wasn't suggesting that

Lee:

we'd have the answers to the world's problems in posing that question.

Lee:

But I suppose I wanted to pose it cause I wanted to challenge people's

Lee:

complacency around it, because I do think that's where we're at.

Lee:

And I think that's, that's why we've not seen a response this week.

Lee:

And it really upset me, as I said.

Lee:

Anyway we move on for now.

Lee:

I'd love people who listen to this.

Lee:

If they've made it this far to, to give your thoughts on that specific question

Lee:

and what you think, what else could be done, I'd be really, really interested

Lee:

to have a discussion about that.

Lee:

So to, to wrap up how to lead by example and become a better

Lee:

ally, what, what are your

Carrie-Ann:

Gosh.

Carrie-Ann:

There's been so much in this conversation.

Carrie-Ann:

I think for me, it's about understanding your own biases about educating yourself.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna hugely recommend this book diversified by June Sarpong.

Carrie-Ann:

I love it because there's actual actions.

Carrie-Ann:

There's questions that it's gonna pose you there's tasks, it sets you to do so

Carrie-Ann:

I think that sets you on the right track to not just be reading, but actually to

Carrie-Ann:

get doing so I'm gonna recommend that book as my top takeaway if I'm honest.

Carrie-Ann:

There's, there's so much in there that covers a lot of what we've talked about.

Carrie-Ann:

I don't want to, to go over it again cuz I'm sure there's more we could say.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

Almost my, how to in this episode, we usually say if you skip to

Lee:

the end, you'll get a summary of what this episode's about.

Lee:

But I almost say, sod it go back to the beginning and

Lee:

listen to the episode properly.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, challenge yourself and challenge your thinking.

Carrie-Ann:

And maybe as part of the discussion we've had think about how you would've responded

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About the Podcast

How to Take the Lead
Unfiltered conversations for the modern leader
How to Take the Lead is a show exploring all things leadership.

Every week we'll be exploring a different part of life as a leader, questioning everything we've ever learnt and sharing a few of our own stories along the way.

If you want to learn how to do leadership your own way, join hosts Lee Griffith (from www.sundayskies.com) and Carrie-Ann Wade (from www.cats-pajamas.co.uk) as they debunk myths, tackle stereotypes and generally put the leadership world to rights.

New episodes are released every Thursday. To get involved, share your thoughts and stories or to ask questions visit www.howtotakethelead.com or DM us via instagram, LinkedIn or twitter.

About your hosts

Lee Griffith

Profile picture for Lee Griffith
Lee Griffith is a leadership strategist and coach who works with CEOs and senior leaders to maximise their impact. A former award-winning communications and engagement director with over 20 years of experience, Lee has supported everything from major incidents to reconfigurations, turnarounds and transformations. She now runs her own company, sunday skies, and speaks regularly about how leaders can build connection and effect change through great communication and engagement. Find out more via www.sundayskies.com.

Carrie-Ann Wade

Profile picture for Carrie-Ann Wade
Carrie-Ann Wade is a communications director in the NHS with over 20 years of communications and marketing experience. She is also founder of Cat’s Pajamas Communications which focuses on mentoring communications professionals to thrive and grow in their careers. She has been named one of F:entrepreneur's #ialso100 2020 top female entrepreneurs and business leaders, and Cat’s Pajamas has been recognised in Small Business Saturday's UK #SmallBiz100, as a business with impact.
Find out more via www.cats-pajamas.co.uk