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Why This Book?
As an educator and speaker, I am grounded by a fundamental message that I have conveyed over the years to organizations who've sought my help in building platforms for the personal and professional growth of their people: The world is a collection of unlimited wealth and resources. Often, we limit our potential by moving in our own small circles because of our fears. If we change the way we view the world, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
This sentiment is important to me because it represents a different kind of thinking -- a thinking that gives you the confidence that you can be, do, and accomplish anything.
Diversity: Leaders Not Labels is about changing the way we think about our possibilities, which is not just an option these days, it is a requirement. We are moving into an ownership society where we must become more accountable for how we are viewed and defined. The question can sometimes be ask "Who owns you?" The answer needs to be "I do."
Today we are challenged to keep reinventing ourselves while not limiting our potential as we work within the system. Growth and change do not always come easily because so many of us are programmed to stay in a box based on how we've been labeled.
We end up stuck in a routine, doing the same thing over and over, locked in place with no growth. While education is important, we get fooled into believing it's the principal tool for growth, as we memorize, take a test, get labeled with a grade and regurgitate information to teachers. Asked a couple weeks later what we learned, we've probably forgotten.
So how do you grow? How do you reinvent yourself when your core base is weak and you don't know who you are? How do you build that foundation for thinking and developing if you haven't defined yourself and taken control of your life? The millions of people of all races, backgrounds, and nationalities who have lost their personal control need to recognize the importance of regaining self-ownership and then learn a process to achieve that goal.
The law of the jungle is more applicable today than at any other time in our history: only the strong survive. As the world becomes more global and technology brings us closer together, our environment has become more diverse. Your transformation from a follower -- or someone's label -- to a leader in this competitive climate is a must.
And you must move quickly or you may not have a job. Tens of thousands of traditional manufacturing jobs have been lost and thousands of others are being outsourced or have been rendered obsolete. The business world is transitioning to a technology-based model. As job security, pensions, and other safety nets disappear, there are countless thousands who will find themselves thrust back in the workforce as free agents. People are also living longer, retiring later, and using up life savings that they once thought would be enough.
What is our twenty-first-century world -- the Information Age -- demanding? Talent, skills, performance, excellence, and results. A college education may get you in the door for an interview, but the real question will always be What do you bring to the table? What marketable skills do you have? Where does your expertise lie?
The twenty-first century is looking for people who can move past their history and into their imaginations. In the past, the business world's focus has only been on people who could help it improve the bottom line and increase sales. But the type of person who will succeed in this new work environment is one who can also transcend race and build relationships -- someone with a spirit of cooperation who is tolerant of others. This environment will require people who think before they react and who understand the consequences of their actions. It calls for self-respecting people who feel good about where they came from and don't apologize for who they are. And it calls for people who will continue to grow and develop and who will bring value to themselves and those they represent.
In Diversity: Leaders Not Labels, we will explore different cultures and their experiences to help you understand that everyone has had his or her own challenges and issues. You'll see that the process for growth and transformation are the same for everyone and that hard work, sacrifice, talent, and self-motivation are the tools for the future. In this book, we want to help people to transform and to respect others' uniqueness by first cultivating and respecting their own.
What makes us all equal is that we all have twenty-four hours. What's the question? "What do you do with your twenty-four hours?"
Copyright © 2006 by S. Graham & Associates
FOREWORD Why This Book?
Section 1. Diversity in the Twenty-first Century
ONE The Lessons of Whitesboro
TWO Diversity at Work
THREE Writing Our Own Labels
Section 2. Programs from the Past
FOUR Native Americans
FIVE Latinos and Hispanic Americans
SIX African Americans
SEVEN Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
EIGHT Arab Americans
A Resilient Population Stares Down Its Labelers
NINE Gender Wars: Women
Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgendered People
Whites Are Not Immune to Labels
TEN People with Disabilities
Section 3. Transformation
ELEVEN Leaders Not Labels
TWELVE The Nine Steps: Transform and Thrive
Posted July 22, 2009
"Diversity: Leaders not Labels" is a very well-thought out book by Stedman Graham. As a guy who, after a career as a pro basketball player, had to recreate himself as a businessman, Graham seems to have a natural intuition for the business world of the 21st century. And he shares a lot of that with this book. He even shares more to budding business people both young and old as he gives speeches across the country. Hopefully, his appearance at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on July 23 will be as plain-spoken and enlightening as his latest work. By focusing on different groups, Graham works toward his thesis that it's our differences that make us stronger. And recognizing those differences in ourselves and others is how American companies will succeed in this new century.
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Posted July 20, 2009
Better than many multicultural classes I was required to take during my college career, Stedman Graham believes an ethnic person should not have to put aside their culture and multicultural experiences in order to better conform to society and to become more successful. In this book, he teaches others how to break free from stereotypical labels in order to most effectively reach their full potential in life and to live a life of tolerance. He shows us that developing leaders rather than accepting labels is the best way to protect a diverse culture. Each chapter discusses a different multicultural group, and includes an excellent historical timeline throughout each chapter outlining a group's hardships and successes, with thought-provoking discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I recommend this book for use in the college and high school classrooms, in small and large corporations as discussions about race and equality between workers and for families of all variations. For more info and to pre-register, contact Ed Ranta at ed.ranta @ phoenix dot edu.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 17, 2009
Authentic anecdotes of his own life and experience, Stedman Graham, not only recognizes diversity in our world, but says one should not have to dismiss his culture and experience to meld into someone else's expectations. As a world traveler and one who enjoys learning about diverse cultures, people and traditions, I found this book better than the diversity classes I took in college. We all want to be respected and acknowledged for the obstacles and successes we have experienced in our lives; why would we want to be anything else but ourselves? A must read for those in the corporate world, education - both students and faculty, and everyone in between who can learn about different cultures and how to better the relationship in our diverse communities throughout the world. For more info and to pre-register, contact Ed Ranta at ed.ranta @ phoenix dot edu.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.