The Bregman Leadership Podcast
Episode 227

Randall Tucker

Diversity and Inclusion

How do we bring diversity and inclusion into the workplace? Randall Tucker has been a diversity and inclusion expert for nearly 20 years and currently works at Mastercard. We discuss what it means to make your organization diverse and inclusive, why you can’t just assign unspecialized, existing employees to diversity/inclusion roles, and the thrill of “I’m shutting the door” conversations.

Video

https://youtu.be/nqP7EthXeAM

Transcript

This transcript is unedited.

 

Peter:

We are lucky enough to have Randall Tucker. Randall, and I go back for years. He is MasterCard’s chief inclusion officer. He’s been doing that for about three years now. And before then he was with Darden and before then he was with Starwood and he’s been focused on inclusiveness on diversity work on executive leadership and helping executive leaders and leaders throughout the companies that he’s always worked with to show up more effectively, more powerfully in a diverse and inclusive world. And so I’m, and, and, and Randall and I, you know, full disclosure go back. He was at the leadership intensive. We go back many, many years. We’ve worked together. He is one of the best people you’re ever gonna meet. So I’m so excited to be able to share a little bit of him with you today on the podcast, Randall.

Randall:

Peter. I mean, I don’t even know where to begin with that, so thanks for that great intro. And I’m really happy to be here.

Peter:

It’s so it’s my pleasure. It’s so I’m so excited to have you, so why don’t you share with people a little bit about your background, like how you got started, how you got to where you are today?

Randall:

Right. So, you know, growing up there, isn’t a degree at the time in the dark ages for someone that’s leading inclusion and diversity. So I came out of the hotel and restaurant industry quite honestly. And I’ve a background in hotel, tourism management and in marketing. And my first role was with Marriott in a sales role. And then I was in some project management, as well as marketing roles. And I had an opportunity evolved based on some career trajectory stuff to work for Starwood hotels, which was a startup company. And they needed someone to help out with their diversity inclusion efforts. And they thought that I was that person that could do that. I actually had gotten in for a role for a director of six Sigma. And I left with the inclusion and diversity role. I had no idea that that would be my path in life, but I have picked up a craft that I’ve started to, to love over the many years that I’ve been doing this work, it’s almost 20 years.

Peter:

So you, you, you studied to go into hotel management and marketing. I did. And, and then you ended up in diversity inclusion. I’m curious, the kind of like, I’m actually really curious about this moment in your career, where you shifted over and, you know, you’ve got all of this education, that’s driven you to this broader role within marketing and hotel management, and you’re right where you want to be. You’re in a hotel group, a large hotel group you’re successful, et cetera. Right. And then, and then you pivot, and I’m curious about like how you got up to speed in a way that allowed you to be effective and to contribute like how you made the pivot.

Randall:

Yeah. So the pivot was made easy for me. I was in my early twenties, nine 11 hit. I had just moved to North Jersey place called park Ridge, New Jersey selling Indian and Jewish weddings. And so that was my first diversity job I had, I neither Indian, nor am I Jewish. And I had to like learn really quickly how to pull events off. And so I always say that to my first inclusion and diversity job. But I didn’t at one point, you know, when, when you’re, when nine 11 hit, it kind of caused a lot of things to go on in my career where I did not want to go to funeral homes and churches drumming up businesses for for the hotel. And so I said, you know, I knew that Starwood was looking for folks to work for them. I, I did not know that I would have a inclusion and diversity job, but you know, what sparked me to stay in it at the first part of it is I needed a job.

Randall:

But at this, but I mean, that’s the realistic piece if you’re in your early twenties and that’s just the one to keep the lights on, but there was a pivotal moment that happened for me, probably about six or seven years into my job. It was on a Friday afternoon. The CEO gives you a call. You think you’re going to get fired. It’s like, it’s a summer Friday, which I should have been out of there by one o’clock it’s like four o’clock and he’s still calling. And he said, you know, I I’m, I’m going to give you an opportunity to build Starwood’s global inclusion and diversity strategy. Not my boss was not giving that my boss’s boss was not given that, but they said, I think that you have the chops in order to do something. That’s pretty amazing in the organization. It’s the first that’s ever happened because the four the strategy for inclusion and diversity was the fluff stuff or the stuff that was very facade.

Randall:

So making sure that you have the sponsorships, you go into the right dinners, that you’re doing the right surveys, but when they looked across the leadership table they said that this work could be more impactful and it could be more relevant. And I want you to blow it up. I want you to make it global, and I want you to make it relevant. And then in that moment, that’s when I fell in love with my job, because I felt like I was really contributing as a business leader and not just as the activity guy, but then was able to build stuff because I love building stuff. But to actually drive change and relevance to this work in the corporation.

Peter:

Now, I think it’s kind of brave organizationally to, to go down a couple of levels from the executive leadership team and say, we want you to run our diversity inclusion. Then you could argue, well, they’re choosing someone because they don’t think you’re going to make, you know, they don’t think you’re going to change anything. Right. Cause you’re whatever you’re young, you know, you’re just right. But I, I know anyone who knows you. I mean, I could tell you from my own experience from the leadership intensive, that what I saw you do a number of times that I can think of one very, very particular. I don’t want to violate anyone’s confidentiality, but there was someone who was doing something and you stood up, you know, in amongst all of these people who were very, very senior leaders at the leadership intensive, and you did this pivotal thing that I still remember where you sat, where you called them to task, and you said, hold on, you’re talking to me like, you know, you’re lecturing me and I don’t want to.

Peter:

And, and, and, and, and then, and it was only after you said that, then I was able to say, are other people feeling this way? And everybody raised their hand. So you were the leader that stepped up and said, something’s going on here? That, that I don’t like, and I’m going to, and I’m going to stand up and say something. So they’re not. So this is what I know about you, which means that, you know, if they’re putting you in that role, they’re not putting you in that role to be someone who’s quiet. I think like that’s at least my experience of you. So I’m sort of curious about, you know, how, how you manage to engage executive leadership and things that they weren’t prepared to leave themselves, because there was no one there that they could put in the role that you’re this young guy who they’re putting in there in order to have them lead and, and how, you know, you don’t, you’re not worried about speaking up and yet you don’t want to lose them, right. Because you need them to lead it. And I’m curious about how you manage that.

Randall:

It’s well, first of all, I think in that moment, you were all challenges. You were challenges in your team was chatting, were challenging us to be courageous leaders. And I think having this on the heels of that conversation, it gives you the energy to actually show up in a different way. I think my personality naturally gravitates towards that because I I’ve tried not to be afraid in many situations, in some situations I should be afraid of it and I’m not. I think that’s probably a trait that they saw knowing or not knowing as young as I was in my career. Here’s the thing I think when you build inclusion and diversity strategy, you have to have that person that has a fire in them. That will stand up to the challenge. When things get a little bit hairy when things get ambiguous or things seem a little bit vague.

Randall:

But the other piece is that I learned very early in my career by one of my mentors is you have to bring leaders along giving the data to the leaders for them to, in order to make an informed decision. So there’s this piece around the right variables in place for the leaders to digest information. So as I build a global strategy, and I learned this through the trial and error period of building strategy, that Starwood is that you have to kind of reach out to different variables. You have to talk to your senior leadership team, you have to talk to the board of directors. You have to talk and understand, you know, what representation data looks like in your organization, as well as employee engagement, survey data, all of these things tell us a story. And even industry trend data, tell you a story.

Randall:

But the piece that you have to do as a leader is put it all together and create a narrative for your leaders. And so without that narrative, it’s kind of like Randall, just saying, you should have more black people, more women in the more gay people, but no, it’s, you have to take a step back and it’s not about me. And what I think it’s about what the data is showing, putting that in front of leaders and then saying, here’s why I think you should go, but it’s always up to you to do that in the courageous leadership comes in is when you’re giving leaders, the pump, the pluses, as well as the areas of opportunity, if they don’t choose what you’re recommending that they do, because there might be some things that are out there that are things that are potholes for the organization, and you have to step up and say, what I’m seeing, the tea leaves are showing me that X, Y, and Z are going to happen. But first it starts with the data. And I think if you start with the data leaders, see the relevancy in your work, because it’s not just coming from an assumption place,

Peter:

How do you get leaders to open up with you and be honest with you and, you know, like, because you’re black. Right. And

Randall:

I think so, right.

Peter:

And I don’t know if I could say anything else about you that you want to share, but cause I, you know, I don’t want to –

Randall:

But yeah, I’m black and I’m gay and I’m from the South and I have a twang in my accent. And if I sleepy, I have all that yet. So

Peter:

I know a lot of leaders that might start to talk to you and they might be afraid. Like, I don’t exactly know what to say, or I don’t want to say the wrong thing or I want to. And how do you navigate the first of all, do you find that happens? I’m sure it happens sometimes. And how do you navigate the discomfort of that and how do you put people? You know, I mean, really it’s not your job to put them at ease. And if you want to be effective, you kind of have to also write so that you can have real conversations with them. So how do you approach them?

Randall:

Well, I mean, I think you said that I absolutely love when I’m in a leader’s office and they close the door and they’re like, Randall, I want to talk to you about something that is like the pinnacle of like my existence in an organization.

Peter:

I love that by the way, as a coach, when I’m starting to have a conversation with someone and then they get up and close the door, I love that moment also.

Randall:

It’s like, you feel like you’re in now, we’re going to have a real conversation. Yeah. But here’s the thing. I think people feel like they, they feel comfortable around me is because I don’t have an agenda. My agenda is for the betterment of that organization and that they know that I’m in the corner of the leadership team in the organization. I wouldn’t do anything or say anything that would give pause to their brand or have a negative brand for that person. And it’s, it’s coming from a place of you building a relationship with that person. I mean, of course you don’t just shut the door, like in your first meeting, but you shut the door after you built a relationship and that person has a trust and a comfort with you because in any of these roles, in an inclusion role, that’s the, that’s the key component to an inclusion leader being really successful is how much a executive or a CEO or a COO will let the person in. And until that happens, you’re not going to be able to get all the nuances of how that really drives strategy within the organization. So it’s, it’s you, in order to have a friend, you need to be a friend in order to have a positive relationship with someone, you have to show that you’re willing to like give up yourself a little bit so they can give something back and it’s a give and take. And I think that’s really important,

Peter:

You know, and I, I also know from my work with you, that you come with a very business focused mindset, right? So it’s not it’s not all about diversity inclusion, it’s about achieving business objectives. And then what is the role that, that diversity and inclusion fits into the, you know, the, the goal or the objective of the organization, which is, you know, around products or services.

Randall:

And that’s my first question. I mean, because typically when you I, I, I’ve learned that the words diversity or inclusion will either get you to kind of reactions either the glazed over look of, I didn’t do something. It’s not me. I’m, I’m diverse. My team is diverse or you know, it’s, it’s one of the, you know, defensive

Peter:

Do people will immediately go to defensive.

Randall:

No, no, no, I, I didn’t do it. Or they rattle off the diversity of their team. So I found that very fascinating. And so I try to diffuse that, but it’s not even diffusing. It was just part of the process. I, I first want as a consultant, I come from like an inclusion leader. I act as a consultant. I first come in and try to understand that what is that business leaders goals? What are their objectives for their company? And I don’t even say the words, diversity and inclusion in the first 10 minutes or so, because I, I literally want to understand what their strategy is. And then I asked us at a question that will lead them to around a diversity topic that they don’t even know that they’re having. So I’ll ask the question around, well, do you have the staff you need with the perspectives that you need in order to make sure that your goals are accomplished X, Y, and Z.

Randall:

So I kind of lead them down the path and at the end of it, it’s like, they were like, well, when are we going to talk about the diversity stuff? We talked about the diversity stuff the entire time, just because you don’t say diversity inclusion doesn’t mean that you’re not talking about it. And so some, sometimes I get out of those conversations, they would be like, Oh, that was an easy conversation, but I got so much out of it is because the stigma, when you say those two words, people tense up and when you take that away, they’re, they’re just willing to share so much, which is very helpful in my strategy development process.

Peter:

You know, I I’ve learned from you around this. And I also like th I’m sort of curious what levers you use to support diversity inclusion organization. I know for myself, like I’m obviously a white male, I’m a straight white male. And w w and, and I see myself as liberal. I see myself as progressive. I see myself as advocating for issues around diversity and inclusion. It’s been important to me. And yet I have really come to see how much I miss, like how, like the profound, the profundity of my blind spots. And, and I think there’s, you know, it’s, it’s really underscored for me how important it is to actually have a diverse group of people making decisions like that. It’s like literally just having more black people and women and gay people and others on the team changes the dialogue, because based on like who you are, that changes often where you come from, and however, expansively you think, you think you’re not thinking in the same way as other people, this is my discovery over the past, you know, six months, let’s say. And I’m just curious whether that resonates with you and whether, you know, that’s part of the goal that you have in the organization.

Randall:

It does the whole business case for inclusion and diversity is one that the best and brightest talent does not come in one rapping. And so they come in many different shapes and sizes and colors and backgrounds, and then two it’s the right thing to do from an organizational perspective, because it’s just part of many organizations value system, but the deeper pieces, the, so what is it all the so was, is that you need diverse perspectives in order to problem solve as well as to innovate. I mean, that’s what companies do. They’re here for increased revenue and shareholder value. And so that diversity will help support what that looks like. I mean, it’s, it’s almost like you, you asking someone that has never driven a car to teach you to drive a car, you have to have the person’s perspective that has actually been on a car and turn the ignition on.

Randall:

Or from a business perspective, that’s kind of like a very simple one, but from a business perspective, how are you going to go into, to build relationships and customers with an under-tapped markets in certain parts of the world when you don’t have anyone internally that understands the language, understands the cultural nuance and all of those pieces or anything else that you need perspective on, like, I’m on a call tomorrow before the prep, you were kind of reading my script, which was hysterical is about our marketing efforts. And so how do we show up as a brand of choice in all communities? Because if we don’t there’s money being left on the table. And so you need the perspective of having a brand voice that speaks to everyone, and only way you’re going to get that brand voice is having perspectives of people that will tell you what will resonate and be impactful in that community. So, of course, I mean, it seems pretty simple, but it’s such a hard concept sometimes, but I think we can, I think we all kind of get many different perspectives equal greater learning, as well as greater insight into understanding how to solve problems and innovate.

Peter:

I read an article years and years ago, decades ago by Chris Argyris, who was you know, a wonderful writer and, and professor. And he wrote this article probably in the seventies or eighties about communication departments and the point of his article. And I still remember it is communication departments, block communication. And the reason is because as soon as you create a communication department, then all sorts of leaders who beforehand were responsible for communicating now abdicated that role to the communications department. So now I don’t need to communicate anymore because that’s the job of the communications department. And I’m curious how you don’t become the answer to diversity and inclusion because you all that’s okay. Randall’s doing it.

Randall:

No, no, no, no, because that’s how, that’s the reason why I intentionally have a very small team because inclusion and diversity needs to live and breathe and everyone’s job within the organization. And so I don’t believe in having, you know a diversity of department directly focused on recruiting or the, the or the, the, the black people marketing campaign, or, you know, the Asian people group around sales and marketing. No, that’s not, that’s not how that goes. I think that what you do is we teach people how to fish in the organization so they can do it on their own. That’s the whole point. It’s how, how I’ve been able to teach people to fish and to set the systems up in the organization where inclusion diversity is embedded, as opposed to, if anything happened to my team, or we got cut, or what have you, that included in diversity will still go on because the mindset has been woven into the nature of the org.

Peter:

I love that. And I believe in it, and, and here’s my question related to it. You know somebody just pitched someone to come on the podcast. And at this point, I, I, I’m not bringing them on yet, but someone just pitched me and they said, look, this guy has got 10,000 people reporting to him. And, and it’s like, that’s like shorthand for like, this is a serious person. And actually, he seems like a delightful guy. I’m just, it’s not fitting what I need right now, but it’s not dinging him at all. But my question is like, like everything you’re saying is a hundred percent right on like, that’s how I believe. I agree with you. It’s how I believe diversity inclusion should be done. And from the outside, you could also argue that bringing a young guy in, they’re not giving them a lot of people there. You know, you got a, I don’t know how big your budget is, but, but it’s, you know, like how do you how do you overcome the, the, the optics in the organization and how do you step into that leadership role with, and, and get taken seriously when you may not have some of the trappings that people who have a lot of power in leadership roles and organizations tend to have?

Randall:

Well, I mean, I think it’s how you brand yourself in an organization and that you have a clear strategy that you can articulate. I think that’s, I think that’s the key to it because I mean, there’s a lot of people with many people that I don’t see as the leaders, but it’s almost how you’re able to articulate and bring the organization along is the strategic moves that you’re making and why you’re making it. I always say, I mean, and it was part of my opportunity when I first came on board to kind of shape what my team looked like. And I actually, I, I actually maybe took one or two spaces out. And so it’s more of how do you make sure, I don’t believe in you, you can’t weave inclusion diversity into something, if it’s all kind of slumped up in one area, just like even when I, when my team was we were talking about global strategy and when I first came in, everyone was sitting outside of my office. I was like, well, that’s not global. If I can see you, shouldn’t you be in another part of that.

Peter:

That’s a gray line. That’s not global. It’s not global. If I can see you, that’s a great line. It’s true. It’s totally true. Right. Which speaks to this other point that we touched on briefly before about data, which is, I imagine, like you still have to help the organization be accountable to values. They’re stating that they have. And I imagine the data is very important to doing that because it’s not, you, you know, it’s not you holding them accountable. It’s the two of you, or all of you looking at the data and letting the data hold your accountable. Is that how you approach it?

Randall:

I mean, yeah. I mean, it’s the data holding ourselves accountable for it, and then coupled with the, in the organization. So the data is one data point, but the other piece is understanding what the overall business objectives and goals are within the company. And then with coupled with the data, what’s going to be the priority for us moving forward. Right. And then I give a few, you know, hints and tips and tricks around. Here’s what I see from my landscape based on all of this, where we should go, but it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s based on me, presenting data, understanding the strategy, making sure that the leadership team gives kind of a full view of that. And then we collaborate together. I mean, that’s the whole point it’s, it’s around collaboration around. What’s going to be the best Avenue forward for the organization.

Peter:

You’ve been doing this for 15 or 20 years Randall. And I’m curious how you’ve seen this change, you know, certainly, you know, over the past few years, it seems to me like it’s changed, but you know, our, our people, I’m, I’m curious if leaders, whereas before they would you know, they would listen to you now, they’re asking for you, like, I’m just curious if you’ve seen, if what kind of dynamic has changed organizationally, if at all,

Randall:

I think it’s two different things. I think that the evolution of inclusion diversity has changed a bit in the evolution of my value within companies because of the brand that I take with me has changed.

Peter:

Right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s a great,

Randall:

So I see them as two different things, I think for the, the industry or the topic itself around inclusion and diversity have gone from compliance and then we need diversity. They’ll now what’s inclusion. Male is belonging to me. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s part of the same thing. It’s just total different stuff to me. I mean, I don’t get hung up on names. I have never tried to get hung up in names. W what I think is that the topic has become to the forefront because of all the social things that are happening. As well as employees are demanding, you know, equality, as well as a level playing field a little bit more nuanced and a little bit more with a group aggressiveness than they have in the past. Whereas like, sometimes you, you think that people, if they say it would George flood people out in the streets, people were protesting.

Randall:

People work as something a little bit more skew to the the protest side and activism side. And I see that as a difference, it will propel this work. What I also see is the, the, the I guess the skillset of an inclusion diversity leader, can’t just be a novice, it’s a strategic role that you can’t just play the role of inclusion leader. You have to actually know what you’re doing. Even in, in the way that you know, what you’re doing is in the nuance situations where you, you kind of have to pull and push in different sometimes. And a lot of if you’re, if you just taking the diverse person from a different part of the business and sticking them in a inclusion and diversity role and say, have added they won’t know that nuance, they might look the part, but they might not know the nuance of driving strategy. And I think that this topic over the last year has definitely increased in value. But also with the increase in value, the table stakes for that leader in that role, there’s a lot of expectation of what juice they bring to the, to the, to the table.

Peter:

You mentioned Jordan Floyd, and I’m curious why you think the murder of George Floyd had such an impact around the globe.

Randall:

It’s because like someone was killed on, on camera. I mean, like, it, it tapped into our greater humanity. It was one of those things that we, we all knew that the story has happened, but until you actually see it, you don’t, there’s a piece of you. That’s like, okay, maybe I can put it in a corner. I can’t, I don’t have to think about it, but when you see it, it’s there and that ripple effect went all the way to New Zealand. And it’s one of those things that you, you can’t take back in. So people were, are tired within the black community, as well as in other communities where they see injustice and they not only saw this as a black issue but also as an issue that we all can hold onto because it was a human issue. Right. and so injustice doesn’t just have one color. And so, you know, we all saw ourselves with someone standing on internet. And so the question is in society, what systems are in place, do we need to put in place to make sure that injustice and inequality is for everyone? And then what are organizations doing in order to do its part to, to support that effort?

Peter:

I’m, I’m curious, because I know George Floyd brings this up and I also just know from doing diversity inclusion work and organizations, how easily and depending on which organization’s how easily it can become a divisive issue, how, how, you know, like, like if, as soon as there’s one organization, where there was a focus on like helping people move towards anti-racism, and, and as soon as that becomes an issue, like where you’re moving someone towards anti-racism, then certain people love it and are, and are supportive of it. And then other people are like, don’t move me towards anywhere. And it creates resistance. And I’m curious how you, how you move this work forward and, and, and handle the potential divisiveness or not make it divisive.

Randall:

Well, I mean, I think it’s the way you, you can’t just hit the Floyd incident and all of a sudden, you, you build a strategy around the Georgia, Florida incident. It’s more of like, what’s your overall strategy for inclusion and diversity. And did you start off on the right foot of making an inclusion strategy versus X versus an exclusionary strategy where you only focused on one or two groups? So I’m going to only focus on women. I’m going to only focus on black people. I might just focus on LGBT people in the U S that’s not, that’s not inclusive strategy to my perspective. W w w you have to kind of do, is think about what are you even talking about. So when you think about the term, diversity is your D is your definition of diversity narrow, or is it broad? So in all the organizations that I’ve worked for diversity is the broad is, is possibly, could be around all the things that make us both similar, as well as different, the things you can see about people and things you can’t see about people, none of us are carbon topping. And so therefore we’re all diverse that definition from our personal.

Peter:

And so the goal, your goal is a leader of diverse of diversity and inclusion in MasterCard is to help people open their perspective to all of the various things that make people unique and different. And that, that can then add value to the organization specifically. Yeah.

Randall:

It’s it’s about like, what is the missing perspective? And you have to take in consideration depending on where you are around the world, that there are different variables around what inclusion diversity looks like, or diversity looks like, and you have to have that broadest definition. Because if you don’t immediately, if you say I’m only going to target these one or two groups, you then become a divisive in an exclusionary strategy because other people that are left out of the tent or wondering, like, what about me? Like, where do I show up? Where’s my equality is anyone looking after me? And that’s the last thing that myself as an inclusion leader or any other evolved inclusion leader would want to ever have.

Peter:

Can you offer people who are listening leaders who are listening just a couple of practical things that they can do to be more inclusive?

Randall:

Yeah. I mean, first of all, just say hello in the hallway. I mean, people always think of like, do I have to write a dissertation? I need to marinade, and I need to think about this. Like, you know, what’s our, I think it’s the simple stuff. It’s to the hard stuff. The simple stuff is like, if someone’s walking down the hallway, say hello to them, because everything that you do is either a headwind or tailwind to someone feeling included. And so that little simple thing to, how do you build your teams? Am I building a diverse team that kicks into consideration of all the perspectives that are needed in order for us to be successful to like, who do you assign roles to for, for, you know, projects that are, you know, high profile projects, are you giving it to the same person or are you giving it to other people that might not be your spitting image?

Randall:

And I think that’s where we kind of create idols of ourselves. And we want people to fit into our idea of, you know, what leadership looks like, but giving other people a chance that you typically may not talk to all the time or have in common with, but just giving the opportunity. The other piece is just making sure that as, as you’re looking at who you’re considering high potential in your organization or in your, on your teams, you know, nine going back again to the same people the people that are in my image, but thinking about like everyone, have I given everyone an opportunity to really sprout their wings and kind of fly, and am I using a very myopic view of who high potential people look like? So it’s, it’s the saying hello to like everything that you do in between from a talent perspective. Even when they leave, is those opportunities for you to be inclusive or not? It’s just thinking about what perspective am I missing and am I giving those people the opportunity?

Peter:

So I feel about this about leadership in, in, I feel like what I’m about to say is important for all leaders, no matter what, but I think it’s particularly important around diversity inclusion. I want to test it with you, which is, I think if you look back on your day and you haven’t done anything that has made you a little uncomfortable, like you haven’t, you know, reached out in a way or made a decision in a way that, that feels like it’s a little edgy for you, then you probably have more room to move. Like there’s probably more things that you can continue to do to increase your diversity inclusion. That, that by definition, if we’re reaching out to people who are not like us, if we’re, if we’re, you know, not handing off that work to our favorite person who we always know, we’ll get it done because we have this great relationship. And like that’s either a really, really great relationship or it’s an all boys club. Like, I dunno which exactly, but, but it’s like, if we’re not branching out in that way, in, in a way that makes us a little uncomfortable, then we’re probably not expanding our own comfort zones and, and being as inclusive as we can be. Would you agree? Or would you disagree?

Randall:

I completely agree. I think then the other piece that I would say is to that list that I was just rattling off is that give people real feedback. I think that some people think that if the person doesn’t look like me, I can’t give them real feedback. So I get the whole conversation while I’m a, I’m a black guy and I need to give us white guys and feedback where I’m a white guy needs to give a black guy of some feedback for this woman on feedback. And should I be honest? Well, yeah. I mean, if you really care about their growth and development, you just can’t leave people hanging. And they think that they’re like, you know, the best thing since sliced bread when there are so many opportunities that they need to kind of handle before they get to the next level. I think it’s about equal playing field, equal opportunity and making sure that everyone is is treated, treated fairly and giving honest feedback. I think that’s really true and important. And I completely agree with your last statement.

Peter:

You see inclusion and diversity evolving over the next three to five years or the next decade, like where’s this going?

Randall:

And I’m already seeing it. I see the placement of where it’s going to be is not going to be in in HR functions. A lot of it originated within HR and kind of stuck the person on the [inaudible]. I think that this role will as, as, as the, as our society evolves and the things that are going to happen, I think it’s going to be probably a role that sits either with a COO or a C EO out of their offices, just for the greater visibility. But I also, again think that the, the qualifications for that inclusion leader will be stepped up that their, their game of who’s qualified to do the role will be stepped up. And it just can’t be someone as a figurehead not to say that they are now, but I think that there are some real, you just don’t hire someone from, you know sales to be your CFO. And so it, well, you could, but that typically isn’t the trajectory, but I think there is going to be a qualification elevated view of who’s going to be sitting in those roles and it can do it globally for these global organizations and understand strategy and how to get strategy across an organization, just like your, your operations folks and just like your sales folks to that level of detail.

Peter:

And what’s next for you? I mean, I don’t know that that’s even a fair question. I don’t know. Okay, good. What’s next?

Randall:

Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know. I kinda, you know, I got into this gig, you know, trying to be a director of six Sigma and I, and I [inaudible] for MasterCard and had been doing this for 20 years. I do know that this is probably one of a few more chapters that I want to make in my career before I kind of call it quits. And I don’t know when quits is but whatever it is I’m kind of open to it. And I think it’s that courageous leadership that we kind of started with around, you know, when something feels right and you kind of get the, the urge to do something else and you, you kind of stand in that and honor that and, and kind of go that direction. But I love what I do right now. I honestly do. I think there are a few other projects and organizations that I would love to, to work for in the future. But you know, we’ll, we’ll take a day by then.

Peter:

I bet you have had such a huge personal impact on me and professional impact on me. And, and I’m so delighted that you’re out there in a leadership role and helping to move, you know, our companies and our country and the world actually in a direction of, of inclusion. So, you know, like to me, it, it, it helps me sleep a little better at night, knowing that you’re out there when you’ve been talking with random people. Yeah, no, but it’s, you know, it’s like that. And it’s that balance of like willing to be able to speak out and doing it in the way that people can hear so that they actually change it.

Randall:

Things about you as well. I think your leadership intensive was one of the pivotal moments in my in my career. I mean, it’s one of those things, it’s, it’s almost like you see the, the raw product of yourself kinda seeping through like, you know the experience that I had was allowing me to do is to kind of break out of that shell. It’s almost like, like a little bird is kind of poking out of the egg. It kind of wants to do more, but it, it just needed that encouragement to kind of break out of that. And I think that’s what you do. You’re able to give leaders that are on the cusp of you know, whatever their greatness is or whatever the next phase of their life is. And those types of experiences I’ve taken with me to develop what I am today as a leader. And so thank you for that.

Peter:

That is very generous of you. Thank you. And, and kind, we have been speaking with Randall Tucker, who is MasterCard’s chief inclusion officer and an all around awesome guy. Randall, thank you so much for being on the Bregman leadership podcast.

Randall:

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.