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Hispanic Leadership in the Next Decade: We Must Unite to Earn the Right to Have Sustainable Influence

05/28/2015 12:00AM

By Glenn Llopis

As we embark upon the next decade, there exists a time-critical call to action by all Hispanic professional organizations: we must unite, to earn the right to have sustainable impact and influence with our corporate audience. When I founded the Center for Hispanic Leadership (CHL), one of the first things we did was to carefully listen, observe, and learn from other Hispanic professional organizations and their leaders, their mission and intentions. Our findings were disturbing: our community is overly protective, we don’t trust one another, and very few organizations seek to collaborate with one another.

There is no overall agenda that each organization can act on to support the advancement of its Hispanic professional members and its reputation amongst its corporate audience. Hispanic professional organizations operate in silos, they are territorial, and they don’t do a very good job in seeking ways to unite our collective causes to accelerate the advancement of the Hispanic professional community. At the current rate of development, Hispanics will have an identity crisis that will be measured in generations.

We Hispanics continue to create our own barriers to advancement. In the next decade, we must unite, empower and expand our relevancy as Hispanic professionals. This begins by being transparent with one another and sharing our intentions, challenges, goals and objectives – openly. We must activate our generous purpose inwardly with our own community. We must reach out to learn from one another and find ways to create a united community that then extends beyond our own Hispanic community.

It’s time to learn from the lessons of other multicultural groups that have been faced with similar advancement and identity challenges in the workplace. Let’s employ our circular vision. If we don’t manage our Hispanic brand, the marketplace will do it for us.

The challenges for Hispanic professionals are much greater than the collective resources made available by all Hispanic professional organizations - combined. We must not view one another as competitors – but as strategic allies. At CHL, we desire to unite, empower and expand the Hispanic leadership inside of our community, so that those from the outside can begin to experience our cultural promise that is inherit in the ways we think, act and innovate as managers and leaders.

It’s time to unleash our Latin Passion with proper focus to engage those around us in ways that can create synergy, opportunity and new types of innovations for the betterment of a healthier whole.

The next ten years will define our Hispanic leadership legacy. Instead of thinking why we shouldn’t unite, let’s think about our entrepreneurial spirit and how we have limited our advancement potential because we continue to find reasons to disconnect. Let’s connect our immigrant perspective and our powerful voices to work as one.

It’s time to discover our Hispanic leadership impact and influence and put it to work - quickly. In 2011, CHL will host the Hispanic Leadership Tour. Our goal is to create greater awareness about building a global workplace that will give Hispanic professionals new purpose, put a premium on innovation, and maintain ethical leadership on driving performance development. I would like to personally invite all Hispanic professional organizations and its members to take play an important role in this significant initiative. Corporations and university leaders will be carefully listening, observing, and learning about our Hispanic leadership style and approach. They will be evaluating our maturity to lead collectively.

I have been told by many corporate diversity and talent management executives that we are unlikely to unite. Our collective Hispanic leadership is the only solution to our fragmentation problem, and it must be developed within our community. We must embrace our unique cultural difference and the deep-rooted diversity that exists with our own Hispanic community. We must educate the doubters by being more accountable than ever to awakened our Hispanic leadership that has been dormant much too long.

Hispanic professionals have been forced to assimilate to seek equal opportunity in the workplace. In the next decade, we must teach others the value of assimilating with us by focusing on being our whole selves in everything we do and how we do it.

Hispanic professionals are in a unique position to fill the many untapped opportunities that the post-2008 economy created. However, this only begins with our ability to unite as Hispanic leaders, in order to have the right to create a platform for sustainable impact and influence.

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The cultural demographic shift™ in the United States is about the workplace and marketplace telling us that it is becoming less about the business defining the individual and more about the individual defining the business. This is exactly why Hispanics – both entering the workplace in search of the right employer who will allow them to be their authentic selves as well as those professionals who have been battling the gulf between assimilation and authenticity – are now ready to advance as 21st century leaders by activating their immigrant perspective; that is, the influence their cultural values have on the natural ways they think, act and are motivated to perform at work.