The United States Can Learn a lot from Hispanics if Given the Opportunity
On Friday, February 18th, I was invited by Mayor Villaraigosa's office to attend LA's Best Hosted a Panel Discussion Event with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in Los Angeles in support of the TEACH.org campaign that is focused on inspiring people of color (and in particular Latinos) to consider teaching as a profession. Panelists also included Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
While the panel discussion was inspiring, it was quite disappointing to watch Secretary Duncan struggle to answer questions from Latino high school students who wanted to hear the honest truth about their future. Instead, these students heard a confused, unacculturated leader who was disconnected with the realities of what Hispanics are faced with in the US. It was clear that Secretary Duncan lacked an understanding of the pain that Latinos are feeling in their schools, in society and in the workplace. But he is not totally at fault. Our own Hispanic community has not been effective at educating our government leaders. Secretary Duncan's lack of understanding is the same that exists amongst C-Level executives in America's Corporations.
One thing is for certain: Hispanics are experiencing a major identity crisis in the US. They don't know whom to follow, what to believe and what standards to live by. As history has shown us, Hispanics have experienced political crisis and societal change in their mother countries (much like we have in the post-2008 economy). Their families experienced reform and revolution and have wired them to anticipate false promises without preparation. As such, Hispanics understand survival and reinvention. They understand what it means to "turn themselves around."
The United States can learn a lot from Hispanics if given the opportunity. Hispanics possess the natural characteristics that make them great managers and leaders. Hispanics have a unique opportunity to emerge as the new leaders of America's corporations. Our government leaders can accept this fact now and begin to create the infrastructure to support their educational advancement by utilizing the leadership characteristics that are embedded in their unique cultural heritage. Or, we can continue to ignore the "Hispanic Factor" that continues to make itself more apparent each day and miss the tremendous growth opportunities that Hispanics can potentially bring as a community that will represent 30% of our great country by 2050. Can you imagine 30% of the US population largely ignored and certainly underutilized? Hispanics must be given the opportunities to be their natural and whole selves to propel new types of innovations and breed a new kind of economic prosperity for the United States of America.
Download my free eBook at www.CenterforHispanicLeadership.com: The Six Reasons Why Hispanic Leadership Will Save America's Corporations, and learn more about the Hispanic Leadership opportunities that the America's Corporations can all benefit from today!