Co-written by guest blogger, Jenny Knuth
We underestimate the power of the status quo.
It is self-protecting. It maintains order and keeps people in their place.
It creates routines, boundaries, and lanes. It freezes the have’s and have not’s, the powerful and the powerless and everyone in between.
From the outside, is looks unquestioned and impenetrable, walled off to change and external influence.
From the inside, one of the greatest preservers of the status quo is the organizational ladder. Climbing the ladder defines the dream –– anyone who works hard and gets results can rise to the top. However, in reality, the ladder can be a nightmare for many individuals.
The danger of ladder-climbing as the end-all-be-all is blindness by ego and power at the top.
And, worse for “the followers”, the instilled culture of ladder-climbing especially by power & control leadership models demands a “follow the leader” approach. In everyday doses, this is exhausting and downright passion- and life-sucking. It’s also devastatingly life-threatening and murderous. George Floyd was killed, not just be the act of one man, but by three who stood by and did nothing.
Disrupting the Status Quo
Ladder climbers embrace the existence of things as they are.
Ladderburners wage war against the status quo.
They don’t accept the way things have been done in the past.
They ask a lot of questions.
They listen to people who have not been asked and not been heard.
They support people in finding & using their voices.
They question their leaders.
They ask why.
They jump in – invited or not.
They sure as hell don’t stand around with their hands in their pockets while their colleague puts a knee on someone’s throat, literally in the case of George Floyd.
Attacking the Lack of Clarity
Ladderburners can’t and won’t act blindly. They understand the values of their organizations, but first and foremost, dig deeper and define what’s within themselves.
They know who they are and where they stand because their values inform their priorities and actions regardless of their job responsibilities.
This IS Personal
Ladderburners aren’t afraid to get emotional and share what’s weighing on their hearts/minds. To model vulnerability and not be afraid to hear the truth –– to find out what’s weighing on the hearts of the people around them.
But they do this in a way that’s not about them. It’s compassionate and empathic.
It’s done in complete service to the greater good and prioritizes listening to the voices not being heard. Then, ladderburners take action for change and justice.
• • •
Ladderburners. It’s time to unite.
Time to wage war against the status quo.
Time to identify people who stand by and do nothing by their real name, Business as Usual. And denounce this behavior from the rooftops.
Time to question individuals in power.
Time to attack the lack of clarity and have real conversations desperately needed to eradicate any confusion causing inaction or complacency.
Time to ask questions, listen, and take action.
Time to invoke the name of George Floyd.
We can change the world by uniting around Black Lives Matter.
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