Years ago, a mentor of mine gave me some much-needed coaching at a time when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, and unsure on how best to proceed. “All you can do is take what you think is the next right step. Just a step. If it turns out to be a misstep, you’re only one step in, and that’s easy to course-correct.”
Over the past weeks, much has unfolded across the country that has caused us to grapple with the topic of racial injustice. Regardless of how we feel about protests, riots, police brutality, or white supremacy, etc., there is no escaping the reality that change is happening; and change is anything but simple. Change is difficult because this is a deeply personal issue that can trigger emotions, actions, and reactions that are as varied as the individuals experiencing them. Change requires vulnerability, honesty, and a willingness to listen.
This goes beyond the individual. We have also seen companies grapple with the change underway. In the first few days many issued statements denouncing racial injustice, made financial commitments to support organizations that aid minority and disenfranchised people, and for the first time in history, formally recognized Juneteenth as a holiday. As those early days passed, however, many were left with the question of what action should be taken next to support and drive the level of change needed, which will likely span years. I am one of those people, and my employer is one of the companies. That question is what brought me back to the coaching from my mentor all those years ago. “All you can do is take what you think is the next right step. Just a step.” That is exactly what our team is doing – taking things a step at a time and learning as we go. As a company, we’ve made some progress, but there is much work ahead.
What I know and have seen firsthand is the commitment by !mpact Makers and its employees to stay engaged, remain action-oriented, ask the tough questions, and be willing to stay the course for the long run. As we are certainly not alone in the journey or commitment, this Blog series is intended to share our learning moments publicly, even if it means being a bit vulnerable. Our hope is that you might share with us, too, as we pose ideas for you to leverage as you ponder your “next right step.”