Leadership and the Environment

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385: Coleman Hughes: Race and social media mobs

Ep. 385

I first crossed paths with Coleman at a conference that previous guest Jonathan Haidt organized on promoting viewpoint diversity in academia. I hosted a breakfast panel discussion. Coleman spoke on a panel later that day. He shared views that sounded reasonable and well-expressed, but I also knew social media mobs attacked him, though not often engaged. You hear about situations like that. I wanted to bring someone on who had weathered such storms.

Partly, you've heard me talking more about race. My next book covers race a lot, so I've had to practice developing my voice in an area I've seen people lose their careers. Coleman didn't. On the contrary, he recently spoke to the US Congress on reparations, opposite another well-known writer on similar subjects with different views, Ta-Nehisi Coates.

In our conversation you'll hear his experience choosing to publicly take on subjects knowing that internet mobs might attack him, being attacked, withstanding it, and coming out stronger for it. I ask his advice on my considering doing so. Not many people take on these challenges and emerge stronger for it. His experience helped me to follow in his footsteps since then.

It's crazy to think of how we live in times that everyone seems to recognize as suppressing open discussion---that is, our time seems like future historians, should we not destroy ourselves, will look at as historic low in terms of open exchange of ideas, understanding, listening.

If we do destroy ourselves, our lack of open exchange probably will have contributed to not finding a solution.



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10/14/2020

396: Margaret Klein Salamon, part 2: Political or Personal or Political and Personal

Ep. 396
My goal in this podcast is to bring leaders from many fields and share what made them effective. I believe sustainability and stewardship would benefit from learning more effective leadership. A goal with each guest is to feature them. Everyone is unique. Everyone brings something we can learn from.Sometimes I don't achieve my goal. Sometimes a guest and I end up talking at cross purposes, which I think happened this time, meaning I didn't do justice to the guest. This time I started off exploring Margaret's views and experiences but part way through misunderstanding arose and I don't think I gave Margaret the chance to shine that she deserved. I apologize to her. I hope I didn't distract from her work. You'll hear at the beginning how her book led me to reflect, introspect, and act so I recommend it.If I messed up, I welcome constructive criticism. I hope she looks all the better for the conversation even if I don't. I hope you, the listener, enjoy hearing the conversation and get value from each of our perspectives. I think I captured the two purposes at the end---that I had trouble seeing her view that getting distracted from political change would not achieve the effects we need to turn things around and that she didn't see my view that personal action augments the political, not distracts.I hope each of us surprises the other by succeeding more in ways the other couldn't have conceived of, illuminating the other's world and expanding the other's view to where each of us becomes more effective than we would have otherwise.