True Diversity

Posted on September 03, 2007 @ 22:39 journal thoughtworks

One of the main reasons I want to become a ThoughtWorker is to be able to work with a diverse range of people from all walks of life. Where there is no norm, only exceptional. I want to also be able to openly share my successes and failures with a team and not feel terribly good or bad about it. So as a team we fail, but also succeed, quickly.

In order to be successful, you must surround yourself with successful people. For me it’s not only about becoming a world class developer, but also a world class father, a world class husband, and a world class person.

“When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, you rejoice while the world cries.” - Robin Sharma

I’ve thrived on trying to be the type of person who breaks stereotypes. Although, I found that when I was younger I was molded in to the type of person that people expected me to be. Not the person I wanted to be. This was totally disadvantageous and did no good for myself or others like me. I was fitting the mold that others had shaped for me.

I soon found that I enjoyed defeating peoples expectations of me. When I felt that subtle feeling that my instructor didn’t think I would last or that I fit in, I had to prove that not only could I last, but that I could do it better.

Here’s another reason why I want to become a ThoughtWorker:

“I like to think of myself as without a prejudicial bone in my body, but when I do I remember this story. I was visiting a branch of a large multinational in South Carolina. A black man, somewhat shabbily dressed, slouched into the meeting room. My mind immediately classified him as a cleaner. Within a few seconds he introduced himself as the Vice President of technology. Although nobody knew of my pre-conscious blunder, I’ve often pondered since why I made it. Was it his way of walking - more of a slouch than a confident stride? Was it because I was aware of being in the South? I can’t escape a sure feeling that wouldn’t have made this classification if he was white. Now I could excuse myself by saying that this occurred ten years ago, but frankly I have little confidence that I wouldn’t repeat this error today.” - Martin Fowler, Chief Scientist ThoughtWorks

I really encourage you to read the rest of this post at Mr. Martin Fowler’s bliki.

I think it takes a lot of confidence to admit to failure or lapses in judgement, but by doing so you allow yourself to learn from it. I’ve done a lot of silly things in my life, in fact writing this blog is probably one of them. But it’s who I was, it’s who I am and it’s helping to shape who I become.