Who Is In The Room


Spaces filled with identical people and ideas frustrate me.

What I find more rewarding: colorful, diverse rooms. Rooms with lots of different points of view and different kinds of people. Here is why I prefer these kind of rooms: I love success.

The most successful, competitive organizations are diverse. Again and again the data reflects this positive outcome.  Diversity predicts profitability.

Diversity in the board room matters. A society where all voices are at the table, empowered to bring insight and exert decision making on future outcomes, is a more just and equitable society. And the other outcome of diverse leadership: profit.

The Diversity Data:

According to McKinsey’s most recent 2017 data, there is a direct correlation between business success and the presence of women and minorities on executive teams.  A quick example from the data:

·        The worst performing quartile of companies had 1 woman line executive for every 58 men.

·        The second worst performing companies had 4 women for every 48 men line executives.

·        The number of women jump in the second best performing companies: 6 women for                   every 48 men. (Yes, this is still a dismally inequitable number.)

·        Top performing companies had the most women line executives: 10 women for every 41             men.

·        Imagine the performance of companies where gender parity is achieved...


The data tells us:

As diversity metrics rise so do profitability outcomes. So why are so many c-suites monolithic in gender, color, age, orientation, or background? What would I find if I came to visit your next meeting?

I find diversity is an outcome of awareness and experience, and that is very hard to change without intentional effort. To become aware of a blind spot we actually have to have someone point it out, or we don’t notice.

Here are a couple step you can take to begin to shift your awareness:

Notice who is at the table the next time you walk into a room.

·        What diversity is present? Absent? 

·        Does the makeup of the room reflect the reality of the whole organization?

·        What can you change with an invitation to the next meeting?

Diversity arises with intentionality. It is not an accident when a group of leaders in an organization are gender, age, ability, background and orientation diverse. It happens with effort: strategic, tactical effort.

Diverse rooms are fun to be in: especially as the trust rises. The stories I hear and the insight I gain when I spend a lot of time with people who are not like me teaches me so much.

Spend some time cultivating a friendship with someone who is different from you.

You will learn things about yourself and others and the world we share that you never knew. And we are all the better for it when we learn something today we didn’t know yesterday.


Have you been dreaming lately? Maybe about a new job, a promotion, losing weight, a new relationship or completing a marathon?  How is it going? If you are like most, the dream sounds great but finding the path and motivation can be a real challenge. Katherine Paterson said it well when she said “a dream without a plan is just a wish.” Scientific studies have shown that we can actually end up feeling worse about ourselves and our performance can decrease when we do not achieve our dreams. When we only dream about our positive outcomes and do not plan, the outcomes include:

1.    Sapped energy to reach our positive future
2.    Low physical and mental health
3.    Diminished well being

Yuck…what can do?

I recently read a great book I highly recommend from a colleague of mine, Alan Schlechter. The book is called UThrive and it is by Daniel Lerner and Alan. The book is based on learnings from a class they teach called The Science of Happiness which happens to be the most popular elective class at NYU. One of the tools Alan and Dan discuss is mental contrasting thinking. The tool they recommend to achieve this thinking is called WOOP.  Below is an overview of the framework.

Wish- What is the challenging goal you are aiming to achieve, whether today, next week, in a     month, or in a year?

Outcome- How would you feel if this goal were accomplished?

Obstacle- What is standing in your way? What assumptions or habits are holding you back?

Plan- What is one thing you can do to overcome your obstacle? Not just generally, specifically, in this very moment? If x (obstacle) happens, then I will do y (healthy alternative).  More information on pages 115-116 of UThrive!!! 

Here is what happens when you use WOOP. By clarifying each of the steps in WOOP, you:

Strengthen Mental Association….which leads to
Increased Energy…which leads to
Better Performance

By succeeding on your wish, this will also create a belief that you are capable of achieving future dreams. This reinforcing cycle gives you confidence to overcome setbacks and future barriers. This self-confidence also allows you to dream bigger dreams and not hold back. This confidence will help you reach your full potential and watch out for the places you will go!

So ask yourself, what is holding you back from fulfilling your wish? Find a place to write, follow the WOOP model and see where you can go!  Good luck and let me know what you achieve!