Leadership: What Happened to "Indivisible?"

Indivisible: Not divisible; unable to be divided or separated.

indivisible leadership teamIn a time where public conversations seem to be attempting to capitalize on dividing us; by political party, 99%/1% (economic bracket), religious belief, nation of origin, you name it, what has happened to the inspirational idea of “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?”

One company has stepped up with a strategy to break the divisiveness mindset gripping our country and is taking a leadership role in directly impacting one of the core issues in our society – creating economic opportunity.

Starbucks has been running a fundraising drive for some months now, in partnership with Opportunity Finance Network to create jobs by providing financing to community businesses. It has invested $5 million through its Starbucks Foundation to get the campaign going and invites patrons at all Starbuck’s retail stores to fund from $5 to $249 at the register. Larger amounts will be accepted at http://www.createjobsforusa.org.

Participants receive a very brief, informative note and a wristband with the theme “Indivisible” on it. Much more information and wonderful success stories are available on the website along with details on how a contribution actually generates seven times the initial amount when the micro-finance loans are made in the community.

So why would a company like Starbucks choose the word “indivisible?” I didn’t find any discussion of that on my initial reviews of the materials, perhaps because it is so obvious. Conditions will probably not change much for a long time, particularly for the folks on the low end of the economic ladder unless we pull together as a nation and focus on creating opportunity.

It is a well established fact that entrepreneurs and small business create the vast majority of jobs in our country. Even more than jobs, in my mind, is the business of creating opportunity. Meaning that people have openings to express their creativity, to innovate, to bring new ideas and ways of doing things into the marketplace, not just offer the “sweat of their brows.” This is how new things grow in our economy.

I would ask you to take a moment and consider – are you a "divider" in your thoughts and speaking?  Are you gripped by the current self-defeating public conversations? Are you spreading the negativity among your teammates, company, family and community? Are you just busy trying to get more for yourself or can you experience the longer term benefits to all of us from activities that benefit all?

With the "create jobs" campaign a renewed paradigm called “Indivisible” has been proposed. Will you join in the conversation and the funding?