Vu Le pays tribute today to his friend Bob Santos who was a leader in Seattle in the field of non-profit leadership and social change. To do so he listed nine key traits for leaders working in diversity, and the whole post is like an index to a life long curriculum on managing diverse teams in diverse contexts. Leaders, especially those with traditional privilege in the non-profit sector, would do well to see these as basics rules to guide their leadership:
- See the strength in uncertainty
- Consider differing viewpoints
- Understand that everyone is affected by unjust systems
- Remember that we are all tied to one another and there are no “others.”
- Paradoxically ground work in their own story while removing themselves from the work.
- Believe that diversity is our strength
- Play the game while the change the game
- Unite and bring out the best in people.
- Have a relentless optimism for an ideal world, grounded in reality.
These are pretty good complexity principles too, with a caveat that the last one requires us to have a motivating drive for a better world rather than an ideological goal and pathway in mind. It’s a lovely tribute to Bob Santos and a very handy list to reflect on.