US study of diversity being valued versus considered

[ from The Pew Research Center ] Three-quarters of Americans agree it is important for workplaces to promote racial and ethnic diversity, according to a study published by the Pew Research Center today.

The response doesn’t vary too much by race, with 81% of black Americans saying it is very or somewhat important, 73% of whites, and 75% of Hispanics. Yet while it appears that most Americans support diversity, the Pew study suggests the support doesn’t actually extend to action to ensure that it increases.


Just 24% of Americans said a person’s race or ethnicity should be taken into account alongside their qualifications in hiring decisions in order to increase diversity. Nearly three-quarters said only an applicant’s qualifications should be considered in hiring—even if it meant less diversity.


On this, a racial divide emerges: 78% of white Americans believe only qualifications should count, compared to 54% of black Americans. More than two-thirds of Hispanics also said only qualifications should count.

This disconnect can be seen at Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company. It has a compensation plan for executives linked to diverse hiring, but some employees took to an internal message board to denounce it as discriminatory, Quartz found. “As long as we give more money and higher annual reviews explicitly for NOT hiring/promoting white men and Asians, this will continue to be a serious problem at the company,” one comment read.

The wider implication of the Pew study is that most Americans believe achievement in their education system and the labor market is sufficiently based on merit. That’s despite evidence to the contrary.

An analysis by the New York Times in 2017 found that black and Hispanic students were more underrepresented at top colleges and universities in the US than they were 35 years earlier, even after decades of affirmative action. The roots of the problem extend to an inequitable and segregated school system. A report by the US Department of Education in 2014 found that schools with lots of students of color tended to have less access to advanced courses (pdf) such as AP subjects, fewer experienced teachers, and limited access to resources needed to provide a high quality education.

Christine Haskell, PHD has built her practice on credible, published research and data. In the Research Series, you’ll find highlights, shareable statistics, and links to the full source material.

Pete Carroll's Book Recommendations


When I mentor folks, or even in my client work, I emphasize the context of decision making. Too often people look at the end result of someone's performance, or a flashy title--they see the external outcomes.It's an illusion. What matters is someone's internal processing. When people are looking outside of themselves for advice, common questions include:

  • Looking for guidance on how to get to the next level? Who do you look to?

  • See someone who's career or life situation looks appealing? How did they get there?

  • Want to learn a skill that someone else is good at? How did they learn what they know?

It's so important to understand their influences, beliefs, and underlying values. If you are looking at a leadership figure for advice, ask what they read. It can give you a lot of insight into how they think, what motivates them, and how they define success.

The Road to Character by David Brooks--via USAToday. The book draws upon historical figures like Dorothy Day, George Marshall, Augustine, George Eliot, and President Dwight Eisenhower to show how selfless qualities sometimes considered to be old-fashioned in today’s individualistic society can lead to a greater good. The common thread in each tale is a humbling triumph. In each path, however, there first comes rock bottom.

It has affected my language in almost everything I tell them about leadership and serving each other.

Grit by Angela Duckworth.--via The Next Big Idea Club This book is a great read for anyone interested in psychology and personal development. Grit describes what creates outstanding achievements, based on science, interviews with high achievers from various fields and the personal history of success of the author, Angela Duckworth, uncovering that achievement isn’t reserved for the talented only, but for those with passion and perseverance.

In terms of being resilient, we can find ways to instill resilience by training people to believe that they have abilities that allow them to maintain hope. The reason you bounce back is because you know you have a chance and you believe.

Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Successby John Wooden. via The News Tribune When it comes down to it, success is an equal opportunity player. Anyone can create it in his or her career, family, and beyond. Based on John Wooden's own method to victory, Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success reveals that success is built block by block, where each block is a crucial principle contributing to lifelong achievement in every area of life. Each of these 32 daily readings takes an in-depth look at a single block of the pyramid, which when combined with the other blocks forms the structure of the pyramid of success. Join John Wooden and Jay Carty to discover the building blocks and key values--from confidence to faith--that have brought Coach to the pinnacle of success as a leader, a teacher, and a follower of God.

In the bottom-right corner as a foundation of his “Pyramid of Success” for leaders and coaches, Wooden wrote: “Enthusiasm: Brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing.”

The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey. via Sports IllustratedWith more than 800,000 copies sold since it was first published thirty years ago, this phenomenally successful guide has become a touchstone for hundreds of thousands of people. Not just for tennis players, or even just for athletes in general, this handbook works for anybody who wants to improve his or her performance in any activity, from playing music to getting ahead at work. W. Timothy Gallwey, a leading innovator in sports psychology, reveals how to

  • focus your mind to overcome nervousness, self-doubt, and distractions

  • find the state of “relaxed concentration” that allows you to play at your best

  • build skills by smart practice, then put it all together in match play

Whether you're a beginner or a pro, Gallwey's engaging voice, clear examples, and illuminating anecdotes will give you the tools you need to succeed. "Habits are statements about the past, and the past is gone." (page 74)

The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday--via Sports IllustratedThe book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Ryan Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.

Mental Models: Commitment & Consistency


How might this apply to great teams and cultures?

When we are incented to and challenged to speak and act outside their normal belief boundaries, preferably in a public way. This encourages them to change their beliefs and to be consistent with their actions. This is how Brainwashing works.

We think of brainwashing as negative but it is actually a pretty neutral concept. It happens all the time. Think of the values and mission you adopted when you joined your last company. Each day you were asked to do some small thing that you agreed with (or not) and over time, it became your truth.

When our actions differ from our beliefs or values, we need to explain this gap to ourselves. We crave routine, so we do not generally want to change our beliefs or values. Our first move is to seek external reasons for the difference. For example, sometimes people can have a hard time letting go of strong cultures even once they've moved on in their career--expecting every other organization to adopt those same strong beliefs and ways of doing things.

Change has to be incremental or the actions people are asked to take will seem too overwhelming. When people aren't taking personal responsibility for their own actions, they claim that they were forced to act as they did. They blame authority (watch out, this might be you!). This is why it is so important to "get everyone on board", make values work an ongoing part of your business management, and make the change a daily/ongoing practice.

How might this apply to your business?

People have a general desire to be (and appear) consistent in their behavior. Ask someone to state a position, declare their intentions, or show a small gesture of support. Why? Generally, people will act in a manner consistent with these small requests, even it later asked to make a much larger (but consistent) commitment. Be careful: done poorly, these will be viewed as compliance tactics.


How did you react the last time new management came in with different ideas?

See Also

Story, Reputation, Status, Sequencing, Trigger, Social Proof, Positive Mimicry


In the whirl of our day-to-day interactions, it’s all too easy to forget the nuances that distinguish great teams, great cultures, and great products/services.

Mental Model Flash Cards bring together insights from psychology into an easy reference and brainstorming tool. Each card describes one insight into human behavior and suggests ways to apply this to your teams as well as the design of your products and services.