The Road That Built You

7. Fragility I

Retrospection is well-established as a critical business tool. Whether we’re comparing this year’s sales results to last year’s, providing employee feedback, or analyzing a project’s success, we all agree on the value of looking backward in time, to see what it can teach us. However, when it comes to the personal, we often discourage each other from too much looking back. We have a library of cliches and platitudes. “Don’t […]

Your Culture is Killing You

Taped Shut Bronze Angel, 2019
Patina bronze
25 x 16 x 18 inches

If you’ve brushed up against corporate hiring practices lately, you’ve probably encountered the concept of Culture Fit—the idea that you should screen job applicants so that you only hire people whose beliefs and behaviors will integrate smoothly into your organization. It’s true that hiring people who don’t integrate well with your company culture can be highly disruptive. If you bring highly-competitive people into a highly-collaborative environment, or order-takers into an […]

Red Dirt Girls

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For ten days, we are bound by clay, water, sand and straw – in various ratios and textures. Bamboo, tapioca, and cement show up from time to time, but basically, we are women with red hands and feet. Kahlo (as in Frida) is 18 months old. Susan is 77. We are every decade in between. We are Thai, French, Hungarian; Canadian, American, Mongolian. We are Pakistani, raised in Canada, living […]

Waking Up to the Wonder of Difference

Objects to Remember You By

I grew up in a half white, half Mexican neighborhood in Roseville, CA. My best friend was Hally (Angelica) Rodriguez. Her parents were Mexican immigrants. Her older brother was a cholo and sold drugs from her house. He was a dick. Her older sister was tough and foul-mouthed and her bangs stuck straight up in a great wall of a tidal wave above her forehead. She was so cool, I […]

Cultivating Diversity: The Courage to Confront Our Biases

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I’m ashamed to admit that I avoid talking about diversity because I worry that I will open my big mouth and commit some gross gaffe, causing extreme discomfort for everyone and and intense shame for myself. I worry I will reveal an “implicit bias” that unveils what an unconscious bigot I am and I will be rejected. By everyone. But, we are all biased. Our brains would self-combust if we […]

Dear CEO: Your Feel-Good Diversity Initiative is Undermined By Every Other Way You’re Doing Business

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Last week, I sat in huge ballroom full of entrepreneurs and cringed as a white male CEO gave a TED-style talk on how he solved diversity. Yeah, that happened. You see, he has realized his business – oh! also his industry – oh oh! also his city – were too white and too male, and so he co-launched an initiative to place a one person of color as a paid […]

Personal Brand & Global Culture: Embrace the You in a Billion

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Our culture informs our world view. It informs what we know, how others see perceive us…often even before we speak. In a way, identifying how our culture and diversity make us unique has been at the core of my teaching philosophy, in my decade(plus) working with clients and students from around the world. Helping people find and use the “expert within” to create an authentic personal brand has become my […]

Mixed-Race with a White Identity

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What happens when a mixed race child only has a white identity and then goes out into the world? I have spent my entire life straddling many worlds culturally, socially and racially. I am a mixed race woman and I am in a family of transracial adoption. (Transracial adoption means adopting children of a different race). My biological mother was a white woman from Dallas, Texas. My birth father was […]

Diversity is Not Skin-Deep

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My parents met at the famous Max’s Kansas City bar in Manhattan, in 1966. A couple of privileged white kids. Him from an affluent family, spending his whole childhood in the town where the Great Gatsby took place. Her, on a full NYU scholarship, hailing from the Bay Area, the daughter of scientists. They actually weren’t that privileged. Dad is Jewish and, during that privileged childhood, a global war broke […]

February 2019: Diversity & Culture

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Welcome to the most provocative issue of Pregame Magazine to date. In discussing this month’s topic of diversity and culture, our contributors opted to keep it real. No maxim-riddled fluff. We went straight for the cultural jugular, favoring much-needed call-outs over the typical overoptimistic (and oversimplistic) opinions which do little more than to serve to keep us all exactly where we are as an individual or as a culture. I […]