In 2013, President Obama asked the then-80 year-old Justice RBG to retire.
Her retirement would have cleared the way for the President to appoint a younger, liberal justice, with decades ahead of them to influence law and politics in our country.
I bet you can see why that would’ve been a good thing. And you’d think RBG would have been on board to protect progress. After all, she was an “ally”, right?
But she declined. And the rest is very harmful recent history.
I’m going to say it: We have her selfish ass to thank for the recent blows to civil rights in the USA.
(Yes, I understand that just one more liberal judge could not have changed every recent decision that hurts vulnerable Americans. The point remains.)
Before you yell at me, let me be clear: I’m not here to discredit Justice Ginsburg. My point is that resistance to change hurts progress. And I see this happen all the time with my corporate coaching and consulting clients.
One client had an HR manager who was uncooperative when it came to implementing new diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. She was possessive over her post, refusing to share helpful information for months.
This is nothing new. I hear many stories of managers — especially senior ones — who hurt progress to hold on to what they have.
Would you accommodate a CFO who was sabotaging profits? How about a manager with terrible team retention? Or a VP of Sales whose numbers sucked?
Of course not. You’d have conversations and reevaluate their role. You’d provide them with coaching. And after a certain point, you’d have to let them go. (Remember that line from Shrek, “better out than in?” Yeah 😉).
When someone on your team is hurting progress, they’re in the wrong seat on the wrong bus. Period.
Likewise, if you find YOURSELF hurting the progress of your organization's mission or vision then it’s time to ask yourself some questions: is your resistance serving the organization or is it serving you? What scares you about what’s changing? What do you want?
Resistance IS futile. Things will never go back to how they were. The data shows that talented employees want flexibility at work, they want to see diversity reflected around them, and they want a sense of belonging. They’re willing to venture out on their own rather than get body-slammed by the resistance of their managers and employers.
And when those talented individuals go out on their own?
That’s when they become your competitors.
It’s imperative that you move progress-blockers to a different seat or off the bus. This might sound dramatic, but the future of your company depends on it.
I wish RBG had realized the same thing.
If you’d like to bring my team to your company for the kind of coaching and consulting that will get your “bus” in shape, get in touch and let’s talk.
P.S. If you yearn for a concrete guide, an actionable something you can do this week, my book The Allyship Challenge teaches you how to evoke justice in the context of the workplace.