How Diversity Ties Us All Together
One of the greatest limitations I have in my life is that I view things only through the lens of my own outlook. When something occurs in my domain, it is typically viewed solely through the impact it has on me and my surroundings. What if we could view these happenings through a different focal point?
So how does this tie into visits to a hospital, community organizations, a downtown revitalization project, and even an etiquette class? And, why would diversity matter in any of this?
Buckle up for day 2 of Class XI with the Wedgworth Leadership Institute.
Ed Jimenez, UF Health
It’s more about what someone hears than what I say. People don’t always listen, but they always watch.”Ed Jimenez
Ed Jimenez, CEO of UF Health, kicked it into high gear at 8:00 sharp. With a $1.8 billion budget, eleven thousand employees, and a hospital kitchen second to none, he threw out the following leadership nuggets:
- Know your purpose. Leadership starts with purpose.
- The “why” may be very different for everyone
- Have perspective in understanding why each person does what they do
- Managers have “hard skills”. Leaders have “soft skills”.
- Facts, facts, and more facts.
- Informed decisions come from facts
- Know the why, not just data
- Lead by example.
- If you choose management, take responsibility.
- Communicate well.
“If you are not happy with average, do better.”Ed Jiminez
Mr. Jimenez challenged us all to look at those we walk the halls with, serve with, work with, or even our day-to-day employees and understand that what we do on a regular basis affects each person we come in contact with.
After UF Health, we ventured out into the Gainesville community to visit various nonprofit organizations looking to influence the human landscape of their area. This included a homeless resource center, a center to help end sex-trafficking, an organization to help keep the county clean, a place to help empower young girls, and a working food center to help end local hunger. And, this was all just in one town.
Are you like me and are maybe unaware that similar groups are working in our own neighborhoods to change the world around us? Am I even aware that there is such a need in so many diverse situations? Do I look the other way? Do I even see these people? Am I even looking for them? Do I go to the neighborhoods that these individuals frequent? What can I do to help these groups? What do these organizations need from me or how can I help influence change? What am I doing today or tomorrow to make a difference with these organizations? How can I use my influence, connections, resources, or leadership skills to make my community more livable? Am I willing to fill the gap?
We as Class XI were able to spend some time wrestling with these questions. While working through all this, we sat in a downtown venue and were mesmerized as the story unfolded about how a downtown park came to be from a vision of a few people. In what once was a decrepit old swamp now stood a testament to a vision, a dream, a renaissance. In the place of a mosquito trap now stood a community park, a gathering place, a venue for groups to intermingle, a chance for families to fly a kite, and a place for future dreams to be cast.
In this same venue, we had the chance to learn about connection through etiquette:
- Social vs Business Etiquette
- Why should I care? 1st Impressions matter!
- Names hold meaning
- Introductions have order
- Appearance matters
- Telephone etiquette and handwritten notes show you value others
The purpose of etiquette is to make others feel comfortable.
Day two challenged us to think about our responsibilities as leaders in our own communities. Here’s some questions to reflect on regarding your impact and responsibility:
- Am I making it personable with those I associate with?
- Am I seeing my neighborhood and those I can help influence?
- What am I doing today to make life better for my community and make it more livable?
- Am I seeing the vision and dream for a “swamp” in my community?
- Am I leaving a lasting impression with those I associate with?
- What can I do to make a difference in the lives of others and leave a lasting impression on my community?
- What am I doing, changing, learning that will make others feel comfortable?