Happy New Year! My Top 7 blogs of 2021

This is now one of my blog traditions! Every year for the past several around New Year’s, I share my top 7 most read blogs of the year. It is really fun to go back and pull my website stats to see what people read the most. And for the first time ever, all of the top blogs were published before this year, and people found them via google search.

Quick stats about his year’s list:
• Five of the 7 dealt with some general aspect of diversity
• Two of the 7 dealt with diversity within sports
• For four of the 7, I had a collaborator assisting me with the content

Here are the seven most read of 2021, starting with number 7 and working up to number one. At the bottom I will give an honorable mention to the top blog published in 2021

7) This year’s number 7 was written in 2019 – a book review titled A new fantastic book in inclusive leadership: “How to be an Inclusive Leader” by Jennifer Brown. I often use industry leading consultant Jennifer Brown’s material when I teach about inclusive leadership.

6) A guest blog written in 2018 by my cousin Brandon, who has a masters degree in social work and now works in the Federal Prison System – Five Misconceptions about Atheists from my Experience: A guest blog by Brandon Garrick.

5) “Five Things Never to Say to Hispanic People” is a companion piece to this year’s number one blog, guest written by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado. It probably hit the top 7 list for the first time since people could link to it from the top blog.

4) My fourth most popular blog was also 2019’s number 4, but it did not make the list last year – “Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity and Sports,” in which I provide 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.

3) I received excellent assistance from local activist and Muslim woman Zainab Baloch for the third most read blog (with over 2,000 hits) and published in 2018, “Five Things To Never Say To a Muslim.”

2) Last year’s number one is now number 2. With over 4,500 hits across the two blogs were 2018’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.” With 2022 being an Oympic year, I plan to write my third installment of this series in January.

1) With the growing number and visibility of Hispanic Americans, Number 2 for the previous three years now made it to number 1 in 2021 with over 6,500 hits! “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

Since none of the few dozen blogs I wrote in 2021 made it into the top seven, I will give honorable mention to the top 2021-written blog, a book review – A Diversity Book Truly for EVERYONE – “Empowering Differences” by Ashley T. Brundage.

I wish all of my faithful readers a happy and hopefully COVID-free 2022.

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A new fantastic book on Inclusive Leadership – “How to Be an Inclusive Leader” by Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown, author of “How to Be an Inclusive Leader.”

Every few months I will continue to write a “book review” blog when I come across an extraordinary book in my field of diversity, leadership and career development. I am pleased to share a little about a new book by one of the industry’s leading diversity and inclusion consultants Jennifer Brown, “How to Be an Inclusive Leader,” subtitle, “Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive.”

The topic of growing into an inclusive leader becomes increasingly important each year as the demographics of our workforce continue to get more diverse. We all need to realize that within a few decades, the United States will be a “minority / majority” country; that is, non-Caucasian people will outnumber white Americans. In addition, the highly skilled and professional future workforce will be a fully 50% female. And in the global internet connected economy – customers, employees and suppliers can be easily engaged practically anywhere in this world. We need to have the widest possible pool of candidates when recruiting talent, and then provide them an inclusive, welcoming, respectful workplace.

To thrive in the new economy, leaders must be inclusive or they will fail. This book provides the reader the perfect mix of theory, examples and practical steps to take in terms of learning how to grow as an inclusive leader.

The basic structure of the book is the “Inclusive Leader Continuum,” which takes the reader through a journey of growth from being totally unaware of the need for inclusion to becoming an advocate. (See graphic at the left.) An interesting principle is that the journey on the continuum is not fixed and in one direction. A person needs to continually evaluate where they are, and may be in different places on their inclusion journey for different diverse groups. For example, you may be an advocate for racial inclusion and equity, but just discovering the need to include LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people in the discussion.

The basic steps along the continuum include:
• Being unaware that diversity and inclusion is more than compliance-related and that it is something critical that you need to get engaged in as a leader.
• Becoming aware of the role you play in inclusion and starting to educate yourself on how to move forward.
• Being active – taking meaningful steps to engage with and support a wide range of diverse people.
• Being an advocate where you are consistently leading to confront discrimination and to bring about systemic change.

What is so wonderful about this book is that Jennifer continues to throw in compelling stories and examples with each step, and offers a plethora of helpful actions you can take to grow as an inclusive leader. And Jennifer continues to tie back to the compelling business rationale for providing a nurturing work culture where every employee can fully belong and contribute their very best to the bottom line.

Now when I teach workshops on being an inclusive leader, I always provide attendees an action planning template where I actually filled in the first entry: Order and read “How to Be an Inclusive Leader by Jennifer Brown.” Link to order from Amazon. An additional special bonus – a great tool to accompany the book: you can take Jennifer’s online inclusive leader self-assessment which will let you know where you are on the inclusive leader continuum in the areas of prioritization, intent vs impact, embracing change, bias awareness and use of language.

Order this book and take the inclusive leaders continuum assessment today!