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We are stronger, wiser & more beautiful together.

by  Chery Gegelman  |  Leadership Development

My husband and I recently attended the most beautiful and unique dinner party of our lives.  Every family in attendance was from a different part of the world:   Russia, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Asia, India, Pakistan, South America, and the United States.

We were a variety of colors and ages.  We spoke different native languages and celebrated different traditions.  We had different educational and life experiences.  Some of us were new to the city we now share.  Some were experiencing life outside of what they know for the first time.  Many have lived all over the world.

Like a bunch of flowers, we were each unique and beautiful on our own, but together we made the most stunning human bouquet.

Reflecting back on the evening three simple truths emerged:

  1.  We were made for a community.
  2. No matter how successful we are as individuals, our strengths and knowledge are incredibly small by themselves.
  3. We are stronger, wiser and more beautiful together.

The evening reminded me of  Bestselling Author Frans Johansson.  His mother is Black and Cherokee.  His father is Swedish.  They met in Germany.  Frans was raised in Sweden.  His passion is sharing stories about people combining ideas from wildly different backgrounds and the incredibly innovative solutions that result.  (If you’ve never read his book I highly recommend it!)

When you weave the knowledge and strengths of individuals together you will create a more engaged, more creative, more effective whole and amplify the potential your organization.

Below are a few questions to get you started:

  • Have you discovered the strengths of the individuals throughout your organization?
  • Have you taken the time to learn more about their backgrounds, experiences and observations?
  • Have you taught them to celebrate differences and value each other?
  • Have you empowered and unleashed them to provide uncommon value to your organization?
  • Have you considered what your janitor, your new employees, your long-term employees, your customers and your suppliers know about your organization that your executives don’t?

 “The best ideas emerge when very different perspectives meet.”  Frans Johansson

We are stronger, wiser and more beautiful together.  

What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…

About The Author

Articles By chery-gegelman
Chery Gegelman was once a frustrated visionary that learned to lead extensive system-wide changes from the middle. Today she is The Founder of Giana Consulting, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two books. Her passion is bringing help and understanding to people and organizations that are leading through change to growth.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Susan Mazza  |  17 Nov 2011  |  Reply

Yes we are Cheryl!

That sounds like a fantastic experience. I have always loved bringing different collections of people together. So much is possible when we choose to be inspired by our differences and approach each other with curiosity.

Love your questions too!.

Chery Gegelman  |  17 Nov 2011  |  Reply

Susan

Thank you for your comments – The evening was AMAZING!

You are right, so much is possible when we are inspired by our differences and approach with curiosity… Imagining what is possible – gives me Goosebumps!

Tara Alemany  |  17 Nov 2011  |  Reply

Hi, Chery.

Great post! I found that it can be very insightful too when we’re in settings that turn our “normal” perceptions upside-down. Living in rural, northeastern America as I do, I regularly interact with Caucasian Americans, and rarely have the opportunity to interact with “minorities.” However, during my time spent in Tanzania, I’m always amazed by the sensation when suddenly *I’m* the minority. The stares of people in the marketplace. The fascination children have with the color of my eyes and the texture of my skin and hair. The different values they grant to things…

I remember on my last trip there in 2009, a young teacher I met greeted me with a broad smile, a hearty handshake and the LOUD declaration “My! Are you FAT! Can you teach me how to be fat like you?” I quickly tried to explain to my new friend that in America, it’s not nice to let people know they’re fat. But he saw the whole thing from the perspective of his culture where malnutrition is the #1 killer, even beating out AIDS and malaria. I don’t know that he even heard my statement because to him, being overweight symbolized being rich and never knowing want. Understanding his perspective enabled me to laugh at the whole encounter, instead of being hurt or put off by it.

While we may not encounter such extremes of diversity in our everyday lives, I think it’s always important to remember that each person we encounter comes with their own set of life experiences that mold and fashion their perception and reaction to things. And when we take time out to understand how they’re influenced (what makes them tick, so to speak), we stand a much better chance of being the kind of leader, friend, teacher or acquaintance we’re supposed to be in that given situation.

Chery Gegelman  |  17 Nov 2011  |  Reply

Tara,

Thank you for your comments! I love your personal examples of how others perceived you were the “minority”.

And want to highlight and emphasize what you said, “…When we take time out to understand…”
That really is the secret to learning and enjoying each other instead fearing or judging isn’t it?

Tara R. Alemany  |  17 Nov 2011  | 

It most certainly is! :-)

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