At a recent work retreat, folks in my division engaged in a rich conversation about innovation. Like so many other organizations, we are searching for ways to combat the effects of COVID-19, so our boss challenged us to be more innovative about our work. He showed us Linda Hill’s TED Talk, “How to manage for more collective creativity.” I loved the talk, but something hit me. I wondered how impostor syndrome affects innovation.

I told the team that, to me, impostor syndrome can be a serious barrier to innovation. If innovation happens when people bring new ideas and/or approaches to the table, then someone who feels that they shouldn’t be at the table in the first place will have a hard time. Amy Weinrieb wrote that innovation happens when folks are willing to confront “uncertainty, risk and failure.”


Recently, I learned about “FOMO.” Watching Hulu’s documentary “Fyre Fraud”, I learned that FOMO is “fear of missing out” on all kinds of social media trends and goodness. Who knew? Okay, everyone else knew. Since I am as engaged in social media as much as the next carpal tunnel victim, I wondered if I would come down with a case of FOMO during my social media fast in early April.

Actually, I came down with a case of “HIAMO” — “happy I am missing out.” I enjoyed time away from ideological babble on Twitter, tirades on Facebook, and Instagram fitness acrobatics that I may be able to do in another lifetime. …


There is someone who lives in the Valley of the Can’ts and they need help getting out. I know; I’ve been there.

One day, a couple of months before my 43rd birthday, my soon-to-be wife looked me in the eyes and encouraged me to pursue my passions. I was telling her that I just couldn’t see myself achieving some of my goals and it frustrated me to no end. This woman could have easily given some motivational you-can-do-it mumbo jumbo but that’s not how it went down. After a line of questioning, she gave me specific reasons that I would succeed. …


The attempt to shame Geoffrey Owens didn’t work. As we saw, Owens was the victim of an act of sheer pettiness when a petulant Trader Joe’s shopper posted a social media picture of the man simply doing his job. Social media users’ response ironically reinforced the meaning of Labor Day, the day that celebrates how workers contribute to the “strength, prosperity, and well-being” of America. Even better, Owens dominated the moment with his “Good Morning America” interview as he showed grace, style and a got in a beautiful one-liner that someone “photoshopped” the viral pic.

But his most memorable sentiment from that interview was about the “honor” and “dignity of work.”


I don’t worry about people with titles so much as I worry about those who support them. To this day, it amazes me that there was no outcry among conservatives when Donald Trump narcissistically proclaimed at the Republican National Convention, “I am your voice. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order.” The very folks who consistently harped on Barack Obama’s narcissism somehow allowed that part of Trump’s nomination speech to go unchallenged. There was no outrage from Trump’s supporters when he failed to immediately condemn the racists whose march on Charlottesville resulted in the death of Heather Heyer. I can go on all day, but this isn’t about a man. …


President Barack Obama’s farewell address was filled with grace, dignity, and hope. The man is leaving office the same way he came in — saying “Yes we can” to cheers and tears. And let the record show that upon running down some of his accomplishments during his address, President Obama gave citizens the credit by saying, “…That’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change.” Upon the mention of the presidential transition, jeers started, but the ever-civil President Obama quickly quieted the crowd.

And then there’s the tomfoolery of the 45th.

A joker with the temperament of an entitled college student is entering the White House. This is the guy who proclaimed at the Republican National Convention, “I am your voice. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order.” This is the one who may not have mocked a disabled reporter according to his supporters, but Donald Trump’s histrionics were still nothing short of juvenile for a man vying for a seat of honor and integrity. The 45th actively encouraged violence at his rallies while inspiring middle fingers, foul language, Nazi salutes, and even a profanity-laden outburst on a plane after his victory. Let’s see, what else? Oh, he bragged that he could “shoot somebody” and “not lose any voters” during his campaign — not civil. …


Black history should be a core subject in elementary and high schools across America regardless of the racial make-up of schools. I firmly believe that. African Americans may have been robbed of opportunities to be fairly represented in the history books but other Americans have been royally screwed. It’s about the lies, people. The lies by omission about the contributions of African Americans to building America have been all too real.

The combination of social media and social justice is changing that. Thanks to a clever and aggressive use of social media by racially diverse social justice advocates, the country is waking up. As a black man, that makes me happy and it gives me hope. I am vigilant, though. I know that racism is a cancer that won’t go away. We’ll just have to let racist clowns live in their private hell. …


I am the happiest I have been in over 20 years. I am in such a state of happiness that I sometimes sound like a cheesy motivational speaker when I talk to people. It’s embarrassing yet fulfilling. But when I tell folks I really can’t complain, I mean it. It’s funny because I’m not living the way I thought “Happy Eddie” would live — in a phat house, driving a phat car because of my phat job. What I have, however, is more than I could ask for— a great wife, a great kid, a cool pad, a dependable car, Apple TV, and a career I love. …


One of the most interesting positions I have had in my career was directing public relations and marketing at a college with significant branding challenges. It faces, and still faces, a particularly daunting challenge connected to its accreditation. During a discussion with the president, I advised him to take control of the accreditation issue by initiating a public discussion about the college’s status. It’s smart crisis management PR to manage an issue before it manages you.

The NFL has a similar opportunity. The issue of domestic violence hovers over the league like a dark cloud yet it seems that the NFL is missing a chance to manage the issue. One player, Greg Hardy, continues to make money and enjoys playing time while consistently tempting fate. While he was suspended for several games, another player, William Gay, was swiftly served with a $5,787 fine for wearing purple shoes to commemorate Domestic Violence Month. Heck, players get fined for not addressing the media. Talk about sending mixed messages. This is not about punishing players, moving promotional ads or information sessions during the rookie symposium. …

About

Eddie Francis

I write about identity and value. Opinions do not reflect the views of orgs with which I am affiliated.

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