Category Archives for "Diversity of Thought and Ideas"

For a data driven organization, a data savvy manager, to make the best use of data it is valuable to have a robust pool of diverse thoughts and ideas.

And God Wrought Special Miracles

Last week in an interview Senator Rand Paul dismissed criticism of trump as being holier than thou and warned people who live in glass houses. He justified this position claiming such criticism makes healthy discourse impossible.

That is odd defense when the definition of healthy discourse is the ability to speak openly, even critically.

Contrast Senator Paul's position with the words of Spencer W Kimball, discussing his duty as a church leader to admonish others.

In writing about sin and repentance, no intent is implied that [I] or any of those quoted, except the Lord himself, is without fault. But we would not have much motivation to righteousness if all speakers and writers postponed discussing and warning until they themselves were perfected!

To take a position that in order to have meaningful communication you cannot criticize is juvenile. It is the antithesis of meaningful communication. In his seminal book, How to Win Friends And Influence People, the first principle Dale Carnegie offers is “Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.” Sounds like Senator Paul is right, doesn't it? It does, if you only read headlines. This ideal Carnegie goes on to teach us is to be kind, thoughtful, and considerate of others. Show respect to get respect. This principle encourages empathy when talking other people.

Senator Paul makes reference to the adage: "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones." Another less common but accurate meaning is: One who isn't open to criticism should not criticize others. Senator Paul's takeaway: don't throw stones. President Kimball's takeaway: don't live in a glass house, be open to criticism, or rather be mindful of your own imperfection.

I'd rather have Kimball on my team. I'd rather have someone who is mindful of their own faults while striving to better all of us. Throw stones . . . gently.

Is there Sunshine In Your Soul Today?

Is there Sunshine In Your Soul Today?

By Rho Lall

I keep telling myself that I am going to start writing about "work related" management and team building. And here is another post that is going to appear to miss the mark, at least on the surface. I say that because team work (I hate to use the term management, but if I don't it will not be clear that I am talking about leadership in management) is about building teams as much as it is about getting work done.

Elder Holland spoke during the Saturday afternoon session of conference. I resonate with what he said because this is the conversation we should be having. Instead, I blurted out, "This is the greatest talk I have heard in a long time #Amen."




Elder Holland confessed that he feels guilty singing of “blessings which [God] gives me now” amidst the world’s staggering economic inequality. “That chorus cannot be fully, faithfully sung until we have honorably cared for the poor." We live in challenging times:


"These challenges can come from a lack in us, a lack in others, or just a lack in life, but whatever the reasons, we find they can rob us of songs we so much want to sing and darken the promise of “springtime in [the] soul” that Eliza Hewitt celebrates in one of her verses [“There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today,” Hymns, no. 227]"


When we have challenges at work I will often chime in, "First world problems." It is helpful to put things in perspective and remember the assets, advantages and good fortune we do have. I'm not saying to put on rose colored glasses and gloss over challenges, I'm saying we need to take them off.


We build teams when we acknowledge the individuals on those teams. When we hear their challenges (and are supportive) we foster a strong team environment. 



And Jesus listening can hear
The songs I cannot sing.

This comforting verse gets lost in an otherwise sunny, bouncy hymn. Just because your song can't be heard doesn't mean it's not there.  Just because it does't conform doesn't mean it doesn't have value.

I don't mean to demean first world problems. Many suffer from mental and emotional illness and other debilitating health limitations. They must not suffer in silence. Elder Holland says, 


“When we disparage our uniqueness or try to conform to fictitious stereotypes — stereotypes driven by an insatiable consumer culture and idealized beyond any possible realization by social media — we lose the richness of tone and timbre that God intended when He created a world of diversity.”


Never abandon the choir.


These quotes underscore the value diversity brings to teams. Just as a choir needs a harmony of different voices, so does any team. It isn't enough to recognize the value, it is important to acknowledge everyone's seat at the table. A survey of CEOs asked about their role said their job is to maximize shareholder value. We should take a wider perspective on who we consider shareholders, they include clients & employees in addition to those who hold ownership interest.

“You are unique and irreplaceable,” says Elder Holland. “The loss of even one voice diminishes every other singer in this great mortal choir of ours, including the loss of those who feel they are on the margins of society.”

“And someday I hope a great global chorus will harmonize across all racial and ethnic lines, declaring that guns, slurs and vitriol are not the way to deal with human conflict.”

“There is room for those who speak different languages, celebrate diverse cultures and live in a host of locations. There is room for the single, the married, for large families and for the childless. There is room for those who once had questions regarding their faith and room for those who still do. There is room for those with differing sexual attractions.


 A choir is a team, just like a SEAL team or . . .  your team. Never abandon the choir, the sentiment is the same. Teams are stronger than individuals. A united team of poor performers will outperform a talented individual.

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Trump Win Can’t Be Undone.

Trumps Win Can Not Be Undone, For Me, It’s Become Personal


Idiots yell. intellectuals debate opinion. And the wise man is silent. I invite you to comment below. If I say something that resonates with you please let me know. If you disagree, please share. Dialog gives us an opportunity to grow, #WisdomThruRespect . My name is Rho. I am not a speaker. I am a thinker. I do my best thinking in Excel. I’m a data nerd. I am the principal contributor to Assume Wisely, a blog about making decisions.

I believe my experience can be of help as you seek to heal, and heal frayed relationships. In the early hours of election day I seriously considered voting for Trump, I am not politically offended: I understand where republicans are coming from.

It still hurts.

I put his character aside, just as I put hers.

It still hurts.

I was able to excuse a man who is accustomed to having his way with people. Now he has had his way with the american people.

It still hurts. 

Something else is happening. 

I started my morning routine at 4 am on Wednesday like it was any other day. In the wake of Trump’s win the Dow dropped during overnight trading. I was looking for bargains in the market. It is important for me to highlight where my mind was because something had changed and I was not aware.  I had not consumed any media. This wasn’t political upset. This wasn’t the pain of loosing. This wasn’t sadness. This wasn’t mourning.

This was visceral pain. This was fear. It wasn’t until I am getting off the bus that I realize I am feeling uncomfortable. Three things stand out this morning:

  • all the faces on the bus are white.
  • the lavish breakfast spread out for a meeting I was not invited to.
  • the admission of a friend that voted Trump.

Somehow each of these pointed to one singular conclusion. It is important to not let emotions control your decisions, but you should never ignore them. My emotions were hijacked with a sense that . . .


. . .  I do not belong.


I’ve come to know this feeling well. I feel a sense of accomplishment that I’ve been able to dismiss this feeling. But it still hangs around in the shadows. This week, it stepped out of the shadows. Now I ask, do I belong?

Have I been kidding myself all along?

My friend assures me he isn’t racist. He says, (and I quote)

My heart goes out to those who are in pain or feel our country has turned its back on them. I hope my thoughts may help clear up some of those inaccuracies so heads can be raised, hope rekindled, friends reunited, and we can move forward as one. I hope you can better understand that I (and most of the 60 million of us) didn’t vote for him out of hatred toward you.”

I’ve had several friends justify themselves on Facebook.  They insist they are not racists. In the days leading up to the election I adopted the words of a gay Trump supporter,

Voters do not pull a lever to endorse a candidate’s flaws.

That is still true. But It doesn’t invalidate that I have been wounded. It was not intentional, it was not anticipated. I am equally surprised.  It is nonetheless a wound. I need time to heal. I need to move forward.


How Can I Move Forward?

Here in Utah, I am getting involved in politics for the first time. Regardless of who you support, I invite you to walk with me. Subscribe below and we can walk together. The path forward is not clear. But there are some first steps we can take:

  • Get clear on your values.
  • Attend and participate in community meetings.
  • Volunteer with your party.
  • Work on a campaign.
  • Wear a safety pin.

There’s a growing effort in the United States for people to start wearing a safety pin in the face of attacks and harassment. It is literally a safety pin.  One small way to signal that you’re an ally (regardless of who you voted for) to anyone who feels so out of place in this volatile time.

The “safety pin” symbol was inspired by the 2014 #illridewithyou movement in Sydney, Australia. People offered to sit next to Muslims who felt threatened on their commutes — at the time, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, they feared an Islamophobic backlash.

For those that subscribe below I will be creating a community with content, links, and tips for those who are walking this path for the first time. Involvement is more than voting. Involvement is more than knowing about the Utah caucus system. Involvement is a weekly if not monthly engagement. This is a first for me too. If you are interested in walking this path together, i invite you to subscribe below: