This Week’s Selected Media: 13th, directed by Ava Duvernay; The Leader to Leader Journal’s special issue commemorating Frances Hesselbein

August 20, 2023 by Joshua
in Tips

This week I watched:

13th, directed by Ava Duvernay: The Thirteenth Amendment and abolitionism are fundamental to my work on sustainability leadership. A future guest on the podcast recommended this movie by the director of Selma to learn more about what the amendment missed.

The movie clarifies that prison is more connected to slavery than I think most people would have expected, though less about work and free labor than maintaining social division and economic imperialism. It addresses racism but less about class and barely the larger sexism. The film addresses that black men are imprisoned most but not that rates of imprisonment between blacks and whites are smaller than between males and females. It doesn’t have to cover everything, so not to take away from its message of a culture using a tool to enforce racism also enforces sexism.

It’s online at no cost. I’d embed it, but you have to click to say you accept adult issues so it doesn’t seem to embed properly.

The Leader to Leader Journal’s special issue commemorating Frances Hesselbein: I was honored to write one of the articles, Lessons From Frances Hesselbein: Hand, Heart, Love, And Leadership. I’m not sure if everyone can read the articles yet, but email me if you want to read mine. I found all of the articles wonderful, warm, and generous, as well as all of them collectively. I’ll post again about it if they make any of the pieces openly available.

Mine begins:

When she was my age of 51 over half a century ago, the woman Peter Drucker would later call the best leader in America, Frances Hesselbein, was barely known outside the small town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

An outsider would see her volunteering for an organization she cared for, but it—the Girl Scouts—would soon desperately need a turnaround, a direct result of its lack of inclusion. Nobody could see her love for a cause people paid lip service to, but more dishonored in the breach than honored by living its values.

Today the field of diversity, inclusion, and equity flourishes, with executive positions in the world’s largest corporations and governments as well as degrees from our most prestigious universities. She could point to her greatest role model, Abraham Lincoln, a bit more than a century before, who inspired her by overcoming near-overwhelming resistance.

. . .

Before starting, I suspect people dismissed her: “You think you’ll follow in Lincoln’s footsteps? Who do you think you are?”

If so, I think I know how she felt. I volunteer for a cause of sustainability and stewardship I love that people pay lip service to but dishonor more in the breach than by living its values.

It continues to share how Frances’s influence continued to help me learn about myself and my mission even after her passing in some of the most important areas of my life.

Read more of my posts on Frances, including links to the Inc. pieces I wrote about her.

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