Amplifying Voices – Mellody Hobson: Color Blind or Color Brave?

Mellody Hobson is a highly skilled and experienced business leader. Most recently she was appointed as vice chair at Starbucks, but her entire career has been amazing and I encourage you to read more about her accomplishments.

I like Mellody’s business-focused take on why colorblindness is not a valid strategy for dealing with issues of race, and why diversity is a strength for companies. But what I particularly love about her Ted Talk is her mention of becoming comfortable with discomfort. So many of our choices in life are made to avoid discomfort – and yet in doing so, we rob ourselves of some truly life-changing moments.

Why start a blog?

I quit my job this year. I had been with the same public service organization for almost ten years, in a variety of positions. I’d been promoted multiple times, and was most recently in a position doing work I really enjoyed. But the culture and management of the organization had gotten to a point where my health, both mental and physical, was being negatively affected to a degree I could no longer ignore.

Me after a typical day of work.

I didn’t think of leaving as a defiant act, just as a necessary one. And yet, as I talked to a number of colleagues and co-workers, I heard the same thing again and again – “Wow, I wish I could do that”. Not one person questioned my choice to leave a stable job with decent benefits without another position lined up.

Reflection is deeply important to me. I like to believe that we can grow from all experiences, including the deeply negative. This blog is my attempt to process my experiences, reflect on what I’ve learned, dig into other perspectives, and hopefully come to a greater understanding of what happened, and how best to move forward.

I want to use this opportunity to not only reflect on workplace trends that I feel are both short-sighted and dangerous, but also to brainstorm and problem-solve for how to make things better.

I do not pretend to have all the answers. I hope any readers would question me if I did. But I think there is space to have some honest talk about leadership, management, and the way power is allocated.

There are many things we may not be able to impact, but we won’t know until we try, right?

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