How Marginalized Communities Can Take the Lead

Question: How can traditionally marginalized groups better position themselves as credible leaders?

Christine Quinn:  You know, I think if you are somebody who is in the community who hasn’t held large leadership positions before, whether they are elected or corporate or anything, you have to do a good job.  You know what I mean? You have to do a good job, just like anybody else.  And you have to make sure, just like anybody else, your work, your style, your focus, your agenda, is diverse and inclusive of lots of different people.  That’s true for everyone.  And I think what can trip up people sometimes is when we think too much about the fact we’re from a community that hasn’t had X, Y, or Z position before.  And you focus on that as the problem as opposed to using it as an asset, or using it as something that propels you to work harder or be more focused, you know?

A member of my staff once summed it up as, you know, “This issue really isn’t how big the hurdle is, it’s just one angle you have to get at to jump over the hurdle.”  And I think that’s what you have to do.

Recorded on October 28, 2010
Interviewed by Andrew Dermont

Directed & Produced by Jonathan Fowler

Beyond doing their job well, traditionally marginalized people need to view their differences as assets, not problems, says Speaker Quinn.

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