Yesterday’s presidential election yielded a stunning result for many, one about which I’m personally very disappointed. That said, my note is not about my own politics, or about your politics, to which we are entitled — it’s about bridging the profound issues that divide our country.
I have been embarrassed by the rhetoric, the tone, and the insults; it is not who we are or should be. I imagine that all of us — no matter where we’re from — will spend some time trying to process what this vote means about our society, what it tells us about individuals’ hopes and frustrations. It is also a stark reminder to leaders in business and elsewhere — current and future — of how our actions have profound effects on our society, and how we must become more engaged as constructive forces of change. To me, this creates greater urgency to our discussion of valuing differences and to reaching out in acts of kindness and understanding to those who feel vulnerable or threatened, to those who suffer in whatever their life journey is, and to those who simply are not as lucky.
Three women of color were voted into the U.S. Senate — that is cause for optimism. Rather than set us back, or produce distance, let us use this moment to create deeper dialogue. Let’s make the Anderson family a model of empathy and respect. I hope the discussions triggered by this election bring us to a deeper understanding of the origins and values of our differences, and thus move us forward as a more thoughtful and considerate community, one that is a source of strength and support to each other. I welcome it if you’d like to reach out to chat. We move forward.
Judy D. Olian
Dean and John E. Anderson Chair in Management