Hector Chavez

Manager – Employee & Labor Relations at City Of Hope

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How much culture influences one’s leadership role in the workplace

12/06/2016 06:29AM

My experience at the CHL Academy was an amazing reintroduction and a realization of how much culture influences one’s leadership role in the workplace.

I did not know what to expect at the CHL Academy. This sentiment was the apparent common theme amongst some of the other attendees I met on Day One of the Academy. However, over the course of the Academy I was able to make some observations I previously overlooked.

Glenn Llopis’ introduction and outline of his Six Characteristics of 21st Century Leadership (We Keep an Immigrant’s Perspective, We Employ A Circular Vision, We Unleash Our Latin Passion, We Live With An Entrepreneurial Spirit, We Work With Generous Purpose and We Embrace Our Cultural Promise) and of The Four Opportunity Mastery Skills (See Opportunity, Sowing Opportunity, Growing Opportunity and Sharing Opportunity) resulted in the self realization by those in attendance of how powerful our deeply rooted beliefs, culture and experiences, if recognized, can impact one’s leadership role in the workplace.

The aforementioned characteristics have transformed my leadership skills in the workplace and have favorably impacted my personal development journey. This is best evidenced through my founding of Latinos for Hope, one of seven diversity resource groups at City of Hope.

Four years ago I attended Diversity Day at City of Hope. As I walked around the venue I saw three of the established diversity resource groups. I asked myself, how is it in that we are in Los Angeles with a large number of Latino employees serving a great number of Latino patients and their families; that we do not have a Latino/Hispanic diversity resource group?

The formation of Latinos for Hope was a scary experience with many open ended questions: Was City of Hope ready for a Latino diversity resource group? Would Latino employees embrace our efforts? How could we best support City of Hope? and How would we know that we are successful?

Llopis’ Six Characteristics of 21st Century Leadership and The Four Opportunity Mastery Skills played a pivotal role in the transformation of Latinos for Hope. Specifically, the characteristics of Unleashing our Latin Passion, We Embrace Our Cultural Promise and We Work With a Generous a Purpose.

 Latinos for Hope began with six founding members struggling with identity and a purpose. The initial meetings were at times painful and non-productive efforts focused on obvious concerns and pitfalls many newly formed diversity resource groups encounter – lack of minority representation on the Executive Team. Fortunately, we were surrounded by the right people who saw opportunity and safely allowed for a healthy exchange of ideas and ideals, and agreed to devote our efforts to enhance the mission of City of Hope.

This quickly changed as we unleashed our passion and began to identify a generous purpose.  During the CHL Academy we learned that passion is someone who cares and opens their heart to take action and make a difference for those around them.  We also discussed how Cultural Promise is driven by our ability to have a generous purpose.

Latinos for Hope generous purpose is to perform service activities to benefit our patients, their families and the community.  Our greatest efforts have been the coordination of blood/platelet and marrow drives. City of Hope is an innovative biomedical research, treatment and educational institution dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer and other life-threatening illness. Our patients and their families rely on the donation of blood and platelets.

Latinos for Hope cultural promise, entrepreneurial spirit and focused approach resulted in record setting blood/platelet and marrow drives for CY’s 2015 and 2016. Additionally, Latinos for Hope expanded traditional blood/platelet drives by incorporating Latino  themes (Cinco de Mayo, mariachis, food) and by partnering with Spanish Broadcasting Systems, Incorporated Los Angeles radio stations Mega 96.3 FM and La Raza 97.9 FM who understood and embraced the need for such events, and generously sponsored, promoted and broadcasted bilingual Public Service Announcements to educate the Los Angeles community regarding the importance of such drives.

I give credit to the CHL Academy for helping me see opportunities not previously seen. This coupled with the incredible, passionate and unselfish members of Latinos for Hope has contributed to a generous purpose benefitting our patients, their families and our community. 

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