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Becoming effective LGBT leaders
Want to be an effective LGBT business leader? There are 5 things LGBT leaders always do. Here’s what they are and how to do them. Rise to LGBT leadership easier with your free copy of the 5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life here.
The someday leaders
Do you have that family member who always has a new job and it’s the new job that they’re finally going to rock? Yet, they have a million reasons why none of their previous jobs worked out.
Do you know that person who’s been talking for years about starting a business? But, this, that and the other thing always gets in the way.
If motivation is the matchstick, effective action is the spark.
Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said, “Effective leadership is putting first things first.”
Yes, we need more queer leaders for effective change, but we’ll only have true leaders if more queer people put first things first and not first things last.
What can LGBT people do to generate the positive and effective queer change we need today?
Hear all 5 tips here for effective leadership:
1. The most effective LGBT leaders own being queer
Owning your queerness comes in two parts.
The first is that we need more LGBT people to own their LGBTness. Coming out and being out is easier for some than others – but necessary for all. Harvey Milk said, “Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in.”
Whether you’re in the heart of the country or on the coast, come out at home, come out at work – come out everywhere. It’s harder, though not impossible, for people who know you to reject you because you’re LGBT.
We shouldn’t need a flimsy executive order to make it illegal for LGBT people to be denied employment just for being LGBT. It isn’t okay that transgender people are nearly four times as likely as the general population to earn less than $10,000 annually. These things can only change when we own who we are and force the effective queer change we need.
So, being an LGBT leader means owning the opportunity that comes with honesty. In the business world, join your company’s Business Resource Group (BRG) or Employee Resource Group (ERG) to effect queer change internally. If an LGBT ERG or BRG doesn’t exist, create one.
The face of America is changing, and businesses know they need to tap their diverse employee base to tap growing diverse markets and stay relevant. As Shelton Goode, Ph.D., said, “One way [business is] doing this is through the innovative use of employee resource groups (ERGs)—voluntary, employee-led groups made up of individuals who join together based on common interests, backgrounds or demographic factors such as gender, race or ethnicity.”
If you believe in your company’s mission, you could and should be the conduit that connects your employer with your LGBT community to effectively create queer change. That’s what LGBT leaders do.
2. The most effective LGBT leaders are confident
With that, the most effective LGBT leaders and leaders in general, are confident in their abilities to lead and succeed. They’re not arrogant in such a way as to repel the very people they’re trying to lead and they don’t fly blindly without hearing and weighing their options, but they’re certain on reaching their goals and don’t get paralyzed by over-analysis.
Once they’ve made a decision, they stick with it until there is objective evidence that they’re off course, at which point they slightly tack the ship their leading rather than completely change course.If you feel like you lack confidence, the best thing to do is to create a path of micro-wins. - David Auten of Debt Free GuysClick To Tweet
They, also, don’t get bogged down by popular opinion or trends of society or the LGBT community. They embrace the fact that not only do they not conform to society’s standards, but they may not conform to the LGBT community’s standards. That’s because they’re not conformists but leaders, and leaders have something unique to offer.
3. The most effective LGBT leaders deliver the goods
It’s not enough anymore to say, “I’m here. I’m queer. Get used to it.”
That message served us well once and got us to where we are today. We now need to talk about more than our queerness. The queer community often tells society that it should see us for more than what makes us LGBT.
If that’s true, let’s deliver society more than our queerness.
At work, in our smaller communities, and in our larger communities, LGBT leaders must add so much value that our colleagues and society see us more for the value we give, the skills we use, and the qualities we have and less for what makes us different from them.
It will be when society sees us more for our contributions that we’ll be more effective in creating the positive change that will serve the LGBT community and other minority groups for years to come.
4. The most effective LGBT leaders avoid drama
Drama is a low-level vibration that attracts the wrong people and repels the right people. Effective LGBT leaders understand this and create the circle of influence and the vibrational environment that keeps them at their peak.
It’s not to say that effective LGBT leaders don’t have life’s challenges to navigate or that they don’t face challenges with being LGBT but that they don’t let these consume them and become excuses for why they never actually achieve the greatness they know they can achieve.
5. The most effective queer leaders give back
It’s when we give back more that we get more. It’s the law of nature.
Giving is not just about giving money. Give value. Give time. Give attention. Give support. Give love. Give. Give. Give.
Give within the LGBT community and give to our allies. When it’s not against your or the community’s best interest, give to our adversaries. We may not agree with Chick-fil-A’s CEO, Dan Cathy, on marriage equality, but we’ll never forget that Chick-fil-A in Orlando reversed its Sunday hours policy and donated food to first-responders and people who donated blood to help the Pulse nightclub victims and families.
Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” So, give effectively and don’t stop giving to affect the positive change we want to see.
It’s up to you and every one of us to help the queer community progress. LGBT leaders will guide the way. Don’t let the fight for progress or progress itself pass you by.
Lead the way by being an LGBT leader.
Watch rather than listen to this Queer Money® below:
How can you get more Debt Free Guys and Queer Money®?
Resources from this episode:
- 5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life
- The Happy, Healthy, Wealthy Gay Men’s Toolbox
- Debt Free Guys on Facebook
- Debt Free Guys on Twitter
- Queer Money Facebook Group
- Queer Money on Instagram
- Subscribe on iTunes
- Email [email protected]
More resources for LGBT leadership:
- 2 Ways to Influence LGBTQ Leadership
- How to Start Being a Happy Gay Man
- Why We Need More Queer Business Leaders
We’re David and John Auten-Schneider, the Debt Free Guys and hosts of the Queer Money® podcast. We help queer people (and allies) live fabulously not fabulously broke by helping them 1) pay off credit card debt, 2) become part- or full-time entrepreneurs and 3) save and invest for retirement.