Happy New Year – My Top 7 Blogs of 2013

Happy 2014
As we end 2013 and enter the new year, 2014, I would like to quickly recap my “top 7” blogs of the year based on number of hits. I average about 30 blog entries per year, mostly around my two areas of consulting expertise: Diversity with a specialization in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) workplace and marketplace; and career and skills development based on my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping process.

Top 7 in reverse order:

Number 7: This blog, actually published in April 2012, was still number 7 this year, “I Was a Victim of Stereotyping … and It Hurt!” As a white man in the US, I do not often experience the horrors of stereotyping that many minority communities do in this country, but in one case I was judged and stereotyped, and it really did hurt.

Number 6: From May of this year, “Five Important Ramifications of NBA Pro Basketball Player Jason Collins’ Coming Out” as a gay man. After the media hype died down, I shared some long lasting implications of Jason Collins coming out. I also shout out to this year’s WNBA’s first draft pick, out lesbian Brittany Griner.

Number 5: A special satire piece I wrote for Labor Day in early September, “The Largest Threat to the American Economy and Entrepreneurism!” What I share from personal experience as the largest threat may surprise you.

Number 4: Actually this was a blog originally published in 2011 and I am very glad to see it still getting a lot of readers, “Three Components of Diversity Training.” When I was asked to submit a bid to a Fortune 500 firm for design and delivery of a one-day diversity and inclusion workshop for middle managers, I studied my past material and prepared my bid, and realized that successful diversity training needs to contain three major components. You will need to click and read to see what they are!

Number 3: “Five Heroes of the Early US Gay Rights Movement.” And it truly a diverse group that includes women, men, transgender, an African-American and a religious leader.

Number 2: After seeing an article called “5 Things to Never Say to Black People” on the Diversity Inc. website – I was inspired to write my own blog – “5 Things to Never Say to Gay People.” This was the first blog that I ever wrote that got 200 hits within 24 hours of being published!

… and my Number 1 most read blog in 2013: “Five Common Misconceptions about Gay People.”

Thanks to all the readers who enjoy and share my blogs. In 2014, if you want to be notified each time I do publish, you can like my business facebook page (Link), or if you subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter, I include a short summary and links to the past month’s writings.

Wishing all my readers a wonderful 2014 filled with much contentment and success!

Ignite Talks – Local Leaders as Social Innovators

Please do notice and use the many bolded underlined hot links to additional information on the internet!

Kevin McDonald, founder and CEO of TROSA, was the second speaker of the Ignite series

Kevin McDonald, founder and CEO of TROSA, was the second speaker of the Ignite series

This Fall, I have started to attend a unique innovative series called the “Ignite Talks” offered by the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham, North Carolina. Ignite is a networking and educational forum offered to members of our local community. Through talks and interviews with business and community leaders, the series provides a unique venue to promote social responsibility, community building and continuing education.

The first two sessions could not have offered two more contrasting, different speakers: one a Harvard MBA and CEO of a major technology firm, and the other a high school graduate who spent many years as a drug addict living on the streets before starting a successful impactful community organization. And though these two men appear to be polar opposites, they both offered the consistent message on how leaders can make a profound, positive impact on communities and the world.

Jim Whitehurst, CEO and President of Red Hat spoke on September 17, 2013, on “The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in Building a High Performing Culture.” Two of his main points:
1. It has to go beyond simply writing a check – that is too easy. It is important to find participatory ways to engage in community volunteerism. And corporate leaders should be role models and set an example by participating in active, visible community efforts.
2. Corporations that promote community involvement should do so in ways that will resonate and connect with their employees and that are aligned with their corporate mission. He offered an example of Red Hat’s commitment to “open sourcing” that aligns with community efforts to provide free access to important information and applications.

Kevin McDonald along with other TROSA staff and the TROSA clients, training to work in the food industry and serving that morning's breakfast

Kevin McDonald along with other TROSA staff and the TROSA clients, training to work in the food industry and serving that morning’s breakfast

Kevin McDonald, founder and CEO of TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers), spoke on November 12, 2013. TROSA is the largest residential substance-abuse treatment program in North Carolina in North Carolina and a model of social entrepreneurship. After narrating his own personal journey, Kevin shared about the TROSA business model, which connects with the community and develops program graduates who gain skills to make a positive impact on the community through jobs and community service. TROSA’s intense two-year program has an extremely low relapse rate (15%) compared to national averages. Kevin applied the hard lessons he learned on the streets of Los Angeles with his intense commitment to community and people to start and build this very successful program.

So Jim Whitehurst and Kevin McDonald come from two extremely different environments, but both are leading for positive community impact within their spheres. This demonstrates to all us, that no matter our backgrounds nor vocation, we can each align our personal passions and the current environment we are in to ignite impact on our communities.

Link here for more information on the Ignite Series and to enroll, support and attend.