The newest edition of the semiannual inspiration message is now available – Change the World One Person at a Time! Here’s a sneak preview of one of the lessons.
THE STORY OF MANDEEP
I also know of someone else who is changing the world one person at a time – my pal Mandeep.
The story actually begins with someone else who decided to change the world one person at a time – a senior manager at work. This manager approached me about a year ago and asked I would help Mandeep navigate coming out of the closet at work and in his personal life. This manager had been helping Mandeep, but he wanted Mandeep to be able to talk with someone closer to his age. So, he connected Mandeep and me.
When I first met Mandeep, he had just come out at work, was nervous discussing his sexual orientation, and was spending many nights home alone in his suburban apartment. He felt stuck. So, I encouraged him to move into Center City Philadelphia, got him involved in some diversity activities at our company, and recruited him to help me and others lead the launch of our LGBT employee resource group.
Fast forward one year. Mandeep lives downtown in the heart of our most thriving LGBT neighborhood, but his story at work is more compelling. A few weeks ago, as we were getting ready to launch the LGBT employee resource group, Mandeep gave a presentation introducing the group and its purpose to a room of 50 managers, most of whom he had never met before. I simply expected him to run the managers through three PowerPoint slides, but he did much more. He talked eloquently and from the heart about the benefits and challenges of coming out at work. The chief diversity officer and I were brimming with pride as we watched Mandeep captivate the audience; in fact, many of my colleagues joined the group as straight allies after seeing a similar presentation from Mandeep.
So, what’s the learning here? We all change the world one person at time. The senior manager changed the world by connecting Mandeep and me. I changed the world by mentoring Mandeep. And Mandeep changed the world by getting up in front of a bunch of strangers and showing them that it’s okay to be gay at work. I bet he inspired many straight allies to join our group, but even better, I like to think there was a closeted employee in that audience and maybe Mandeep inspired her to consider coming out and bringing her whole self to work.
To read the rest of the message, and view past messages, visit the Semiannual Inspiration Messages page. I release these messages 2-3 times per year. If you’d like to receive them before they are posted on my blog, please email me your email address, and I will add you to the distribution list.
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