Leland L. “Ted” Cogdell, Jr. replied to the topic As a leader, do you excel at EEO and diversity management? in the forum Leadership, Management, Supervision 7 years, 4 months ago
You’re welcome, David! It is my hope today that I am adding some value to your anti-discrimination and communications project here. I sincerely appreciate your kind remarks. I wish my employer felt the same way. You pose questions that need to be asked and your knowledge in this area is truly exceptional, for a nonattorney. You are a wise man who knows when to turn the conversation over to an attorney or ask for an attorney to chime in on the thread. Some people I have met in my 28 years of federal service can’t do that, and they think they have to answer in full every question or legal comment out there. In the Army, we called these folks “barrack lawyers.” They can be very harmful; that can be very dangerous behavior. Your maturity is a sign of your professionalism and your experience. That you are a Terp doesn’t hurt your qualifications, either. 😉
To add to what is above, I would agree that it is a business imperative, but I would also add, if I may, that it is indeed a moral imperative, too. The late Senator Robert F. Kennedy said, on April 5, 1968, in a speech to the Cleveland City Club, the day after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others.” When a supervisor sides with the manager on a reasonable accommodation case just so he can get that expected promotion later in the year, then we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives (and careers) on the shattered dreams of others. Those kinds of situations demand that the issue go before a third party, like the EEOC. To see the full speech, please see http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/RFK-Speeches/Rem…
When we remember and embrace the moral element of our Oath of Office, then I think we will lead others to approach their work with honor, open minds, and diversity, and society’s anti-discrimination project will be advanced, which, as leaders, we are all charged with the responsibility of advancing. Our Oath of Office does not just ask us to show up and do our jobs. If one has taken the oath, then one has agreed to, “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”
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