In this, Part Two of my discussion with Lisa Earl Mcleod, we discuss our experiences and perspective on Black Lives Matter from either both sides of the pond, make sure you to listen to part one of this discussion episode 041 🙂 I asked Lisa who her Hero or Shiro was?
Lisa: In my country, right now, we’re having serious racial issues.
The festering wound that will we have tried to cover for 400 years has been ripped wide open. It was always open to people of colour.
Lisa: I have always been fascinated by Harriet Tubman, having watched some documentaries on her and read about her. Harriet is a top-rated movie and it’s harrowing to watch. When I think about some of the challenges that I face, and then I think about what she did. It makes me think that I should be braver about speaking up and speaking out. It makes me think that I should be more courageous in my own space, I need to start speaking the truth about what we have created.
Lisa: This transactional business environment that is sucking people, souls, away – it needs to change. Harriet Tubman is an example of someone that did brave and powerful things. Her story pushed me to say what I need to say in my current environment.
Janice: Everything we do, all the experiences that we have, whether good and bad; challenging or not. All experiences are meant to mould us and take us on a journey where we become enlightened. We couldn’t have done what we can do now, ten years ago, because there were specific skills and expériences that we needed to pick up to gain enlightenment, and it is a continuum.
Janice: Ten or Twenty years ago, you didn’t have the platform that you have now. Social media did not exist twenty years ago, and the impact of social media platforms is amplification. So actually, it’s almost like it’s all meant to happen, now. All of the lessons that you learnt from Harriet Tubman, you probably couldn’t have amplified them when you were learning those things. But it all comes together.
Black lives matter: to be quite frank, black people, have known that this has been going on. The thing is, by having a mobile phone, the evidence is there, and it’s clear it’s undisputed.
Janice: It’s great that we are all at a pivotal moment where we’re all bean enlightened, including myself. There are lots of things even I could have spoken out about before.
It’s not just in America, I can assure you, there are some things that lots of people here in the UK are just becoming aware of. The UK government commissioned an advisor to investigate the inequalities. In the past, the advisor had denied that there is any inequality. So why was he chosen to run this enquiry?
Janice: I celebrate anything that gets the story out, although movie companies making films like Harriet sanitise the brutal truth. I don’t know about American, all of history in the UK has been white-washed. It is, ‘we went and we conquered and all that’ but actually ‘we also destroyed, we killed and maimed’. The real story is not told.
Lisa: I did not realise how bad history was taught until I had kids. I had a unique history teacher in the 11th grade; he was a life-changing history teacher? He bought this holistic view to Thomas Jefferson, who wrote terrific words, and Thomas Jefferson also raped his slave. Okay. I just thought everybody knew that until my kids start taking history. And I was like, why are they teaching this little bubble and from 16 people on, think that’s it.
Janice: Which is dangerous because you have people in the UK destroying or Nationalists protecting monuments and statues, without knowing the full history of the person. They only know the one side, get educated first and then make a decision about these statues remain.
Lisa: We had a civil war in my country over slavery, and the people that wanted slavery lost and those monuments went up as intimidation 50 years after the war. This baffles my mind, find another country where people took up arms against their country, lost on behalf of holding people in bondage and then put up a statue to them.
Janice: We have his-story what about her-story? Women have been completely written out of history—all of the inventions and incredible things they have done have gone largely unnoticed. Girls growing up don’t realise that there this excellent fabric off female role models that have been written out of history?
Lisa: The fantastic history teacher, who was a white man, he told the stories, like many people don’t know Abigail Adams, the famous wife of one of our early president, was very influential over her husband. I had no idea that I was in this unique environment.
Janice: It was enough to make you curious to look behind the story and continued to do that in your life.
Lisa: There’s a spiritual element to this; we are all at the right place and everything matters. I do not want to wish suffering on anyone but the fact that George Floyd happened while all these men were at home with their wives and children. They were not on the road, not doing sports, and not going back to the office with their buddies. They processed it with nothing to distract or defend what we all saw—having to watch it and explain it to your kids. It is a very different experience. I would like to think we would have had a response anyway.
Lisa: At a time when leaders have been thinking we need to be empathetic and then George Floyd lands right there.
Janice: Black deaths have happened many times, and it didn’t land in the same way, so I think you’re absolutely right, Lisa.
Lisa: It was so egregious, so clear, George Floyd calling for his mother, that just touched everybody. At a time when we have all been thinking who am I and why am I here.
Janice: The good thing is that we don’t need the government. We don’t need institutions. People are empowered in networks, and on social media, we all have a voice, and we all have a platform. This makes it so much more exciting.
Lisa: You don’t have to go through these filters.
Lisa: When you asked me this question, for the viewers, we did a pre-interview and I had a different answer to this question, then I did today. I want to connect these things with speaking your truth and having a sense of purpose about your life. When you asked me a couple of weeks ago who one of my heroes was, my Dad was a great business mentor to me.
This is connected because we’d all had situations in our lives where we felt like. Is this all there is? In business, we have widespread employee disengagement, and part of the reason is that people feel like a cog in a machine and are having trouble getting excited about that. My God, Harriet Tubman, freed slaves – what am I doing? The business machine has, in many ways, stripped away the humanness. I believe that the business machine is the vehicle to put humanness back. Because the business has a financial incentive to humanise customers to bring diverse people together. If I ran a business with all white men, there is very little innovation because they all think the same, therefore, the business has an incentive to get this right.
Lisa: My hope is and what I see in my country is many businesses are stepping-up into this land of Noble Purpose and saying, 0h no, we’re not here just to make money, we’re here to make a difference.
Janice: We must amplify this message, we’re all on our own journey, this is a pivotal point, and it’s quite exciting. I’m really positive about the changes that will come, and it is business has the opportunity to make a difference, and each individual has that opportunity as well.
Lisa: This is why I go back to two sales is a noble profession. It is really in sales that you have on an economic incentive to reach out, to understand another person, to understand their point of view and show empathy. If my contribution to the world is to create the most empathetic, the most customer driven group of salespeople that the world has ever seen, that becomes a bridge of understanding. When those salespeople go out in the world and connect with people from different cultures, they bring that intelligence back to their company. That is one way we understand each other better.
Lisa: Hootsuite has customers all over the world, and they are focused on understanding what their people want, what their message is, who they are, how to get their message out? This diverse global team dedicated to customers around the world, this is an excellent place to start, at least in my world.
The https://www.mcleodandmore.com website has videos of a diverse group of companies that transformed their organisations in terms of revenue growth. They have had highly engaged workforces, winning awards in their industries.