The Morning After

Election 2016 is finally behind us. The good news is that there will be no more toxic debates, no more negative commercials, and hopefully more focus on the issues that matter. I’m proud to say that I am a Hillary supporter so the outcome of the election broke my heart for many reasons; good old boy bullying behavior and fear-mongering tactics once again succeeded. Believe me, I have endured these behaviors and attitudes throughout my life from childhood to my role as a CEO. I have fought for my place in business, for my employees to receive equitable treatment, for my rights as a gay woman, and for acceptance in both private and public spaces. After only a few hours of sleep once the election results were in, I sobbed in deep grief; I had my heart set on hearing the glass ceiling break by a very competent candidate. I was excited for feminine energy to have a chance to lead our country and I wanted a shot at equality. The universe (and the electoral college) delivered a different outcome.

Most of the media outlets are white collar, moderate tabloids yet we are easily swayed by their rhetoric; talking heads who scream at each other while making little room for listening. The addiction to holding social media as fact. Our country needs to stop, listen and tune into non-corporate sponsored media. Middle America drove this election because someone saw/heard their vulnerability and locked onto it like a shark with its prey. Perhaps this outcome tells us that we have stopped listening to each other, stopped noticing each other’s pain and spend too much time on the ME-ME-ME syndrome. Head in cell phone, self-absorbed, a need to be right, immediate gratification to sooth our pain all the while in denial of the connections we’re missing and the bridges that still need to built across, race, class, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

There is a distinct difference between passion and anger. The energy we’re experiencing is hateful, angry and exclusive versus inclusive. When I stand back, I painfully see that we have a long way to go to overcome racism and discrimination in all of its forms. We have to change that message, dust ourselves off and continue our journey. Taking our marbles home because our candidate lost is not humanity at its best. We must learn from this election and get on with the important issues at hand.

There is a leadership strategy that guides us to draw out the quietest person on a team because they often have the best solution. I have followed that practice through my career and it’s right on every time. Again, the perceived quietest group in the middle of our country spoke loudly on election day. They may not have attended the rallies but they heard the message and they used the most sacred voice that an American has which is our vote, with the hopes of finding a solution to their pain. And their team won the race. So let us begin to listen to those who have different opinions. We don’t need to argue and debate, we can simply listen and make room for more than one perspective. Somewhere in that exchange of different ideas, we can find the best solutions. And that is how we need to behave. If we hate others for electing Trump, we are missing the point. We must love each other for our differences and encourage passionate & peaceful collaborations.

I am still inspired by the message that Hillary Clinton left for us, her pride, her words of empowerment “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” And while we may not agree with how the election was won, we must continue our work in our communities, protect each other and make sure that there is equality for all. May God Bless us all and May God Bless the United States of America.