America Has Spoken. Who’s listening?

The Power of Empathy (video link)

Post-election, some of us are grieving, and fall somewhere in this spectrum:
denial > anger > bargaining > depression > acceptance

I think election night was proof that the Coasts, and a few other states are out of touch with the needs and concerns of majority of the nation.

Though the outcome sent shock waves through the U.S. an the rest of the world, if we can lay our own biases aside and lean in with what empathy we can muster, I think we will find that some Trump voters weren’t voting to undo progress. I do think voters were determined to send a clear message, using the best vehicle they had, to say “while aspirational goals are well and good, it’s time to put me first.”

I am what you might consider a “gritty optimist,” and, I do think there is an opportunity here to have a new dialogue rise from the ashes. We have the technology to support new conversations and collaboration, starting first where values align, then moving to the more contentious issues.

Many would say that our parties are not effectively reflecting the priorities of the citizenry. I would encourage Republicans and Democrats to go on a listening tour. Be curious — why did democrats vote for Trump? What were they voting for/against? Before taking action, learn what your constituent’s priorities are.

As a nation, we need to find a middle way. Perhaps this is that opportunity. Let’s have empathy for each other and lean into the other side. Identify the pains and fears that were not addressed and experiment our way forward. Perhaps we can find a way to have this outcome join rather than divide us.

America is great. Let’s use our ingenuity to disrupt ourselves and seize this opportunity to fix what’s broken.

Stories That Transform

Someone recently asked me about my favorite TED talks of all time.

Here’s my short list, including one from The Moth:

Jill Bolte Taylor, “My Stroke of Insight
Her talk led me down the path of using story to guide strategy, and how to shift an audience from left-brain to right-brain attention.

Aimee Mullins. Let me say, I’m just such a fan of hers.
She shared a heartwarming story (segment 1) at The Moth that encourages us to question our own views of “appropriateness” and a reminder that whether we know it or not, our actions and words can have a huge impact on others. Her TED talk “My 12 pairs of legs” reminds us of the power of story to transform judgment into curiosity, and question our assumptions about beauty and power.

Finally, I occasionally share Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora’s “Back to the Roots” videos with students and clients. I think their story demonstrates how curiosity, agility and community can yield new products and business models. Watch this video first. Watch this video next.