"In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future."
Eric Hofer

Get Leadership Notes by Email

Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 631

Estimated reading time:  3:00 minutes


A couple of days ago someone walked into a gay club in Orlando and started shooting This awful hate crime has struck me to my core. Many of my friends and colleagues are LGBTQ and I am grieving their loss of brothers and sisters. 


I was reminded of another such hate crime in Montreal in 1989 when a man walked in to the Ecole Politechnique, separated the men and women and began killing the women.  


I realize as a straight white male, I do not need safe zones, places where I can just be myself without fear of taunts, hassle, or much, much worse as the murders in Orlando and Montreal show.


What I can do though is make sure that any and all places where I have responsibility are safe for all people. I can make the link for example between a joke that "others" a person who is different from me opens a door to fear and mistrust.


If anyone on your team has to work through a sense of fear or mistrust, they are not working at their best. they are not able to bring their whole self to the workplace, to engage their creativity and intelligence into the team. 


We have lost 50 brilliant young men and women on Saturday night.  Acts of hatred and mistrust are happening all around us. It is up to us to stop them. Not through more violence but by taking a stand against bullying, taking a stand against harassment, taking a stand against behaviours in our workplaces the "other" people. 


Teams at their best honour diversity. May our teams be at their best. 


Please take a moment and read the names of these men and women who lost their lives on the weekend, simply because they were different from the mainstream. 


Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old



May they rest in peace. And may they inspire us to build a more peaceful world.