Happy New Year – My Top 7 Blogs of 2018

This is now becoming an annual tradition – looking at my website statistics for the past entire year and listing my top seven most read blogs as a New Year feature.

I normally blog about my two areas of consulting a few times each month: 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. And once in a while I throw in a more personal blog or rant about something that is irking me.

In 2018, for the first, time, all seven most read blogs dealt with some sort of diversity topic, with diversity within sports being the most popular. Also, this year, two of the seven top blogs were written by guest bloggers, my cousin Brandon Garrick and one of my consulting associates Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado. Here are the “Top 7 of 2018” in reverse order:

7. The seventh most read blog of 2018 was guest written by my cousin Brandon Garrick, Masters of Social Work Candidate at NC State University. “Five steps to reduce mass incarceration of African Americans” was a follow up to his first blog about the key impacts of the mass incarceration of Black Americans.

6. Number 6 was “Five Key Messages on the Importance of Out Gay Olympic Athletes” which focuses on the value and importance of Olympic athletes being open about their sexual orientation, an increasingly critical message for today’s youth.

5. My fifth most popular blog was “Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity and Sports,” in which I provide three short summaries with links about an NFL football player with one hand, an WNBA player who is a new mother with her wife, and a college track star who overcame a harsh abusive upbringing in Africa.

4. Number 4 is “Seven Biases in the Workplace – Let’s Be Brutally Honest About It.” I challenge us all to be brutally honest about unconscious biases that can pop into our heads about the diverse co-workers we interact with, and to address it with action.

3. Number 3 was the 2014 – 2016 number 1,and the 2017 #2, actually published way back in 2011! As many people search for online resources about diversity training, they found and read my 2011 blog “Three Components of Diversity Training,” where I discuss three major components required for diversity training and exactly who within an enterprise should be trained. I have also updated that blog to include links to more resources including to a blog sharing a sample outline of diversity and inclusion training contents.

2. This past year’s number 2 blog, “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People” was a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

As an adult competitive figure skater myself, I enjoy including skating and skaters in my blogs.

1. And finally, by a complete runaway with 35,000 hits across the two blog was my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.” along with this year’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman.)

Thanks to all the readers who enjoy and share my blogs. In 2019, 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 2019 filled with much contentment, success and hopefully a rebounding stock market!

Ignite! Shifting the Face of Inclusion with General Martin Dempsey

General Martin E. Dempsey’s official government photo.

NOTE: At the bottom of this blog, please see links to my previous blogs about past Ignite sessions.

For the past few years, the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham, North Carolina has offered a unique innovative series called the “Ignite Talks,” a networking and educational forum offered to members of our local community. Through talks and interviews with business and community leaders, (often very high power, nationally-recognized leaders), the series provides a unique venue to promote social responsibility, community building and continuing education.

Another outstanding session on November 19, 2018 featured General Martin Dempsey, who served as the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Barack Obama.

Mr. Dempsey’s Topic – Radical Inclusion. I was totally intrigued with the combination of this particular topic and speaker given the US Armed Services oft-reputation of struggling with some issues around diversity. And I was fortunate enough to win one of his books, “Radical Inclusion – What the Post 9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership.” I look forward to reading it and writing a blog about it in 2019.

I was so pleased to be one of the winners of General Martin Dempsey’s book.

Some of the main points of Mr. Dempsey’s discussion at the Ignite Session include:
• Everyone is some kind of leader somewhere in the lives, and everyone shares the same impediments to leadership.
• Inclusion is a key theme in leadership as the world continues to change rapidly.
• Leaders are under much more scrutiny these days.

Three key reasons why inclusion is so important for leadership:
• We need to seek knowledge from a wide circle of diverse expertise to lead in a complex world.
• We need partners!
• Joint inclusion solutions are more affordable. It is often more expensive to “go it alone.”

Additional points made included:
• You need to be confident enough in your leadership to delegate and give up control.
• It is very important to be open to continually learning. Example: President Obama would frequently ask his staff to “surprise him” by providing some new input that he didn’t already know.
• Leaders know how to imagine and energize people intelligently and innovatively.
• Leading through influence instead of exerting authority may take longer, but will result in stronger buy-in.

I thank Ignite and General Dempsey for all these wise insights, and I look forward to more of these Ignite Sessions in the future.

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My earlier blogs about past Ignite sessions:

From October, 2017, “The Art of Money” with David Rubenstein, one of the wealthiest people in the world.

From December, 2014, “Three Women Igniting Social Change in Second Careers.”

From December, 2013, a blog about two very different community and business leaders who spoke at two different Ignite Sessions, “Local Leaders as Social Innovators.”