Darren Nichols, a member of the OVP Management Consulting Group team, had a guest editorial published on the TribLive website on the subject of police profiling of black men and the killing of 17 year old Antwon Rose in Pittsburgh, PA by local police.
The OVP Leadership Blog is normally reserved for discussions about ways people can become better leaders in their organizations. But, we decided to highlight Darren's piece to shine a light on an issue that often confronts leaders of organizations and communities: diversity of perspective.
Similar to the Starbuck's incident in Philadelphia earlier this year (see previous OVP Leadership Blog: Do Your Employees Reflect Your Best Intentions?), we see how a lack of diverse perspectives can potentially influence how people of color can be treated in public spaces. And this has consequences to leaders of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that operate in communities around the country.
OVP spoke with Darren to understand why he felt it was important to share his experience with being stopped by police. We wanted to know how these occurrences impacted him in his professional work, and if there were lessons that leaders could learn from. It turns out there are.
Darren shared the following: "The point of this is not to simply share my bad experiences with the police or to imply all are bad... It’s also not to inject race as my scenarios involved officers who were black and white....(T)his is meant to point out that too many people of color have similar stories. And each span socio-economic backgrounds."
As leaders of people, it is important to be empathetic and understanding of the experiences your teammates have that can have an impact on work performance. Remember there are several meta-skills that leaders need to be effective, including empathy.
We thank Darren for his courage in sharing his experience.