Athena in Progress

Be a J.E.D.I. Leader, Not a Boss: Leadership in the Era of Corporate Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion by Omar L. Harris

Be a J.E.D.I. Leader, Not a Boss: Leadership in the Era of Corporate Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion by Omar L. Harris

Although I haven’t read Harris’ previous book, The Servant Leader’s Manifesto (affiliate link), I would consider Be a J.E.D.I. Leader, Not a Boss, to be a spiritual sequel.

His corporate background informs his argument about where corporate interests can grow in a way that serves their employees and their stakeholders, and ultimately, themselves.

As they say, please write what you know, and Harris knows his audience well without talking down to them or overtly shaming them for being cogs in the machine.

It’s one thing to be a cog, but the time is now to dialogue how to move forward.

You must put in the work if you want results.

The tone felt like a discussion, but not one-sided, as can often be found in these books.

There has been a quiet trend to move away from the “boss” moniker, and Harris points out on page 33 in the Kindle edition:

“‘boss’ comes from the Dutch word ‘base,’ which means ‘master.’”

It has racist connotations that I never thought to question before and evokes the childish retort of “let’s go, Brandon” as of late.

I’m officially done using “boss” in any context, whether meant to uplift women or in a corporate setting with the C-suite who could care less about me as an individual.

Overall, I enjoyed the book because it’s deeply rooted in identifying and encouraging people in power to unfurl the furiously capitalist processes that are currently in place and politely demand actionable solutions.

The only way we can fix things as they are now is to acknowledge those

“toxic leadership practices created by top-down hierarchies must be replaced in favor of flatter, leaner, more agile, more collaborative, more supportive, and more holistic structures.”

It’s food for thought, and I hope that “boss” types will pick up this book and consider its approach.

Harris does point out that while one person can make a change, it will take many people to make that change stick.

He uses J.E.D.I. as a jumping-off point to provide the framework of the 6As of action and apply them to the 3Ps. There are no spoilers here; read the book to discover what they are!

Published by Guilliean Pacheco

Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a Filipino-American full-stack writer by day and raconteuse by night. She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is an Anaphora Arts poetry fellow. She's also a member of AIR, ACES, IWW FJU, and Uproot. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally, if one could call living there normal, on Southern Paiute land. Virgo sun, Aquarius moon, Libra rising.

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