by Cylon George
Hello. My name is Cylon George and I’m a new consultant with The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc. (KJCG).
I’m very pleased to be working with KJCG, a firm that’s committed to helping organizations thrive by leveraging the talents of their increasingly diverse workforce to accelerate higher performance.
I recently crossed the 30-day mark at KJCG. In these first few weeks at the firm, I’ve learned 3 important lessons about inclusion I’d like to share. But before I do, a little more about me and how I came to KJCG.
I was born and raised on Tobago, part of the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Known as the “rainbow country,” Trinidad and Tobago is home to peoples of many cultures, races, and religions.
At the age of 19, I left home to work as a music teacher in the Cayman Islands. In 2000, I moved to the United States to attend college. I earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science, music, and a masters degree in theology.
After completing my theological studies, I worked as a college chaplain at Hudson Valley Community College and Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. Becoming a management consultant may seem like quite a departure from my call to ministry, but I see this new path as part my fundamental calling to make the world a better place.
KJCG is not only committed to serving its clients to the highest degree possible but also serving the community in which it resides, Troy, NY. It is this community work that first drew me to KJCG. In late 2014, our CEO, Fred Miller, was seeking stakeholders in various parts of the community to become involved in a project to raise awareness about the unacceptable level of hunger in Troy.
After learning about the initiative, I signed up to serve as a stakeholder from the college community. As I got to know KJCG during this multi-year process, I felt like this was a place where my own gifts could be used and grown to help KJCG’s twofold mission of serving global clients and the Troy community.
I’m now in a period of learning what it means to be a KJCG consultant. And as promised, I’d like to share three important lessons I’ve learned so far:
1. Inclusion is about building relationships
Previously, I thought that in order to have inclusion and diversity, we simply needed to have every race and culture represented in the room. While this is important for many reasons, inclusion is much more than representation.
Inclusion is primarily about building meaningful relationships with those we may consider different from us. It’s learning to find our commonalities while at the same time appreciating and leveraging our multifaceted differences for the greater good.
2. Inclusion requires teamwork
At KJCG, we thrive on collaboration and teamwork. In order for us to be successful at what we do, everyone must work together toward the same goals. We believe that no single person has all the answers and that only together, can we address the complex challenges facing our clients. This approach reminds me of the well-known quote: “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”
Each person in KJCG learns all aspects of the business to help get a sense of how their contribution builds on the work of another to create a transformative experience for our clients.
3. Inclusion begins with me
In order to be a good teacher, one must know their material thoroughly. In inclusion consulting, being a good teacher also means learning to practice what you preach.
In order to be effective at creating culture change that fosters an inclusive environment, my own actions must be inclusive. From greeting every person with a sincere hello, to truly listening to others when they speak, to soliciting ideas from every person in the room, inclusion is not simply a set of norms to follow. Inclusion is a way of life.
Being on the KJCG team
People need to be welcomed and invited to become their best selves. This creates wins not just for them, but for the organizations they inhabit.
As a member of the KJCG team, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve KJCG and to serve our clients in helping creating places of inclusion in order to achieve results.
I am honored to be on this team.