In the past, we’ve advocated for leaders walking the talk of creating a respectful workplace. In fact, our first post on this blog, written by Paul Meshanko, discussed just that.
The attitudes and behaviors of senior leaders are where the rubber meets the road. If you really value respect, you have to precisely describe (and communicate) what it looks like and then hold yourselves 100% accountable for role modeling it.
That’s why it has been so interesting watching our state’s newly elected governor, John Kasich talking but nor walking the respect line to create an inclusive cabinet. Shortly after his inauguration, the media and other groups called him out for appointing not one single diverse member to his cabinet of so far 23 individuals.
Kasich’s spokesperson responded with the following statement.
The governor continues to look for qualified people to serve Ohio in his administration, without regard to race. More diversity and more inclusiveness are goals to which the administration is committed and to which we strive, just as our society strives toward them as well, and that commitment is ongoing.
It’s odd that in a state with an African-American population close to 1.3 million and not counting all the other diverse groups that reside in Ohio that the governor couldn’t find at least one qualified candidate.
I say it’s time not for just business leaders to walk to the talk of respect but also our political leaders. What do you think?
A couple days after I posted this, Governor John Kasich appointed African-American Michael Colbert to head the Department of Job and Family Services. Kasich also made a point to say that Colbert’s experience not his race landed him the position.