The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

RC Extra: An Awkward Conversation

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

RC Extra: An Awkward Conversation

Bok. Hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the revenue collective podcast. Today we've got another bonus episode for you. We've got the conversation that myself, Brandon Myers, Davante Lewis Jackson and Robert Daniel had. We called it an awkward conversation and really what it was was a conversation about race in corporate America, about being a person of color, being a black person, navigating that environment and also what what we as allies, what we can do do to support our fellow citizens, our fellow humans and people of Color as they pursue equality and equal representation, particularly at the boardroom level, and and how to think about it given everything that's going on in the country, in the United States right now. So that was a live stream with interaction from the audience. What we did is we took it and we're going to take the audio and give it to you here's podcast. We hope you enjoy it. Just going to be many more of this series and awkward conversation, with another one coming up in September. And if you have ideas about what we can do in terms of programming or in terms of education or content, shoot me a note Sam at Revenue Collectivecom but without further ado, let's listen to this. We called it an awkward conversation. It's the first of what we hope will be a really interesting series. So let's listen. All right, everybody, welcome. It's twelve PM Eastern it's nine am, it's a fic time, five PM British Standard Time, and there are other times that it is in other places around the world. Today what we're going to be doing is it's an experiment of store. We're going to be having what we call an awkward conversation and the purpose of this conversation, brought to you by revenue collective and revene collective of color, is to try and begin a dialog between people of different backgrounds, different experiences, different skin colors. We acknowledge that there's four men on this panel and that that's not going to happen again. So we do want to represent different genders and different and people that identify in different ways in the future. This is how we're getting started and there's a reason why we're getting started this way and we'll talk about why. But the point of this conversation is to try and bridge some gaps and to try and create some safe spaces where we can have conversations that oftentimes we're nervous to have with our coworkers or in public or with really anyone possibly besides our partners, our spouses or our closest friends. And the context and the rules of this conversation are that we're going to acknowledge that everybody on this colum hopefully everybody in the chat, comes to this conversation with an open heart. If you're coming at it from a lack of education, this is an opportunity to have a conversation and to be educated or to hear different perspectives, and we're going to reserve judgment about anybody's, you know, motivation. We're going to assume everybody's motivation is good and the purpose of it is to to find common ground with our fellow human beings. So that's that's part of it. That's not the only thing that revenue collective and that all of us are going to be doing and that we think we should be doing, and we're going to be talking about that. This dialog is just one part of, I think, a movement that is hopefully gaining a little bit of steam and light of all of the recent recent events, to find harmony, to find justice into fine equality all over the world, but especially in the United States of America. So this is just one part of what we're doing. There's a lot of other things that you can happen. We recognize and acknowledge and we really appreciate everybody joining us. So I'm going to introduce some of the folks on the call right now. I'm also going to be moderating and if you have comments or questions, again, you know what we're hoping for is just is is, is comments and questions in the right spirit of compassion and common ground and dropped into the chat box and we can we can try to acknowledge them. We do have a sort of some talking points. We've got some topics that we're going to be covering, but if you have ideas, are thoughts and you want to drop them into the Chattil Free I've got Brandon Myers that chief have an observer Adora on the call, an incredible revenue leader and somebody that's a really inspirational figure within revenue collective in our COOC. We've got davante Lewis Jackson, the founder of revenue collective of color, and we've got Robert Daniel, who is the found the leader of our our COOC allies community, and that's the community focused on people that are not people of Color, are don't identify that way, but want to support and help our CEOSC and make sure that these initiatives that we're talking about game traction and actually have concrete and practical implications. So with that, and my name is Sam Jacobs, I'm the founder of revenue collective and I'm on here just because it's something I care about very deeply, but I probably won't be on every every conversation going forward. And again, this is the beginning. We hope that this is the beginning of a series. We don't think that this is the end all, be all and we recognize that nobody on this call is the official spokesperson for any particular race, gender, nationality, etc. We're just for people having a conversation...

...with that. I'll hand it over to Davante. Play Sam. So I'm really pumped to be here. Sam mentioned, I am one of the leaders in our SEOC, which is revenue collective of color. In the main focus for revenue collective cover is first and foremost to create a safe space for black and business people of color within revenue collective and then also to promote careers in revenue to people from underrepresented backgrounds. Many of the folks that are on this call are in, you know, either direct revenue roles of sellers or kind of supporting that function by marketing, business development and so on, and we all know how fruitful these careers can be, the earning potential and the learning potential, and we want to make sure that people from all backgrounds of access and interest in those careers. I don't know, Brennan or Robert, if you wanted to kind of say something for a moment or if not, we can hop right into, you know, some of the questions that we were thinking about. Let's start with the let's start with those questions. Coal. Let's to it. So the first question is, have your views about race in America change since the murder of George Floyd? If so, how? Yeah, I can jump in, and so I think there's kind of a double answer to that. So one I think my personal views around racing America haven't necessarily changed. I think the thing that has changed for me in a very positive way is really recognizing that at this moment in time, many more people understand and recognize that there is an issue when it comes to racing America. And so you, Davanta, you and I have had many conversations around that topic in general. But I am quite encouraged by, I guess, the awareness of the differences and how people from different backgrounds may be treated, whether that's in their daily lives or in corporate America. And so I think you know from my own personal views backgrounds in ways that I kind of came up in the world. I don't know that my own personal reflections are around race of change, but I'm also very encouraged by seeing just a broadening of kind of the discrepancies that we see on a day to day basis and the realization of that from from many parts of society that maybe they didn't recognize that before. Robert, how about you? Let's change for you sure. So I would put myself in the category of someone where I can say that my I recognize that my views did change from at event and I think as someone who's white, I can look back and say it's not that I didn't have an awareness in talking with Davonte and Brandon. You know, this isn't that isn't anywhere near the first incident, but after the murder of George Floyd and after people's reaction, just really trying to state, take a step back and think about, okay, what assumptions do I have that are incorrect and being able to say if a whole population feels that way, what, what am I not thinking about as a white mail and to be able to look at myself and say, okay, how could I think about this differently? How could I better educate myself? I think there's a lot of people, whether it's companies or individuals like myself, that are trying to take this as a moment to say I need to learn more about this, and I think the term ally for me, really resonates of I need to become an ally to this. So that's I'll start there saying that. That's, you know, some of maybe my recognition post the event that, you know, I wish I had previously, but I can say, Hey, it's better to have now and hopefully, you know, I can change brand. I got a question or again, like part of the point of this talk is to is to try and air some things that maybe get lost and translate and on social media, you know, or on Linkedin, where we've seen people kind of come out with some strident posts and say, you know, here's how the world is or here's how I think about it, and then a lot of controversial comments and things like that. But I'm going to I'm going to speak on the have of some Group of people that their initial reaction was when they saw windows being shattered, when they saw not just protest but violence, and they said, why, how does this advance the cause of racial equality or racial deft? And let's not start with breaking windows or break it or smashing storefronts. Why is that? You know, because I I learned a lot from having comp in even just from, you know, our prep called for this. Why is that not the right way to think about it, or why is that a flawter? Or what is that missing? What perspective, because I do think it's missing quite a lot. What's your perspective on that? Yeah, so I think there's maybe multiple takes on this question, but it's important one. You know, one view that I had really kind of early on was, you know, we're conflating a multitude of problems and people are in rage for a number of reasons. And you know we had a...

...situation with George Floyd and yes that you know, I had people that had a call to action. But at the same time, you know, when you look at what was happening in May and June, there was a huge economic situation that we were dealing with as well, and we're this prolonged period of separation from other human beings and there's just a lot going on in the world and you certainly see a lot of unhappy people as well, and so sometimes a spark may ignite a bigger fire than maybe what the source was originally intended to and I think we in society, in certainly in the media, we conflated a lot of issues and just pointed to one problem as that's the root cause and that, and my opinion, just wasn't the case. And I'm you know, certainly got some of my own proof and evidence. I participated in a number of protests here in the bay area, both in San Francisco and in Oakland, and in every case they were all incredibly peaceful and to the extent that the organizers repeatedly said that if you are here to do damage or destruction to the neighborhoods, we're going to get you out of here because that's not what we're here for. We're here to draw attention to something that's incredibly important to us, and so I found that to be very frustrating when you watched the news and you started to see the terminology of the riots associated with black lives matter or George Floyd, and that just wasn't the case, based on my own experience of actually being out there in the communities, of participating in these conversations, and so I think there was a discrepancy and I think people just wanted a point to, you know, an issue that was in front of them and say here's the root cause. And I do have you know in some cases it was offended by that. And Davontee, I know you had a really interesting commentary around that as well. So certainly want to open that question up to you also. Yeah, I mean I think you know, when you say this idea of like it's started with kind of like looting or riding or smashing windows, I don't think that was the beginning. That was actually the kind of the culmination of a lot of other activities and efforts that were attempted right. I think if we can all kind of look back to you know, folks were peacefully protesting, folks were kneeling and nothing was happening, folks were marching and nothing was happening. So I think it's like the position that we found ourselves in when, when, you know, the the riots were happening, really was the sum of we tried all these other things and nothing actually happened. And you know, we briefly touched on this. It's it's interesting because until those things happened and no one really wanted to have these conversations. So I don't think that it's the individual items that may have been taken or the specific windows that were smashed and so on. I think it's the culmination of look at look at the extent of how things had to go for people to take this problem seriously and say, okay, what's going on? Right? It was like that, that wake up call, you know. And I think to go back to just the first question, in terms of views in America and how it's changed, you know, since George Floyd, I actually do feel hopeful because it seems like we've been able to sustain these efforts in these conversations to usually something happens. It gets picked up by the media, there may be a march or two, you may have some people go on, you know, certain new channels and kind of speak their different pieces, and then that's it, and then no one talks about it anymore. So the fact that we're still focused on having these conversations and trying to push the conversation forward, to me is a sign that's really hopeful. Yeah, I agree. I mean just to speak for myself, I mean that's what it made a big difference for me to think about Colin Kaepernick and to think about so many different people peacefully protesting and seeing nothing happen and and actually reading a little bit of resource that says that's that sometimes violent movements actually have an effect the most change in the most in the quickest amount of time, at least in this country. And that may be thinking about the violence itself is not. Is Not the point per se, but it's just a reflection to your point, Duvante, about a level of latent rage, you know, and just frustration that exists within the black community. You know that that sometimes me as a as a white guy. I'm just not. I'm not aware of you know, and I'm not aware of what it feels like to like I said when we talked on the podcast about I'm just not aware of what it feels like to go into a store and he feel like I'm doing sat out or be pulled over for no reason for driving the speed limit or whatever it may be. So I think maybe it has, maybe these things have shocked people and made them more awake to what's actually happening. What do you all think about there's a secondary conversation and it's never clear to me what the point of it is, but I think the point of it is to undermine, undermine certain people's passion in some way. But the point of it is this is all in authentic. You know...

...that guys like Sam or Robert or whoever are out there on linkedin talking about whatever, making a donation of black lives matter or they're they're trying to steem important, but they don't really mean it, and that that's, you know, it's that's ineffective and I'm looking for sincere allies and sincere supporters and I don't believe that the people that are all changing the logo of their company are sincere. What do you what do you all think about that? I I mean, I think every every time you start something new, you kind of feel like a poser, right, it could be trying to get into golf, or maybe you're trying to work out more, trying to become a better cook. Right, like in the beginning it always feels like I don't belong here, what's going on? So I think it's unfair to paint people as being in authentic when they're trying to start becoming an ally. I also think that, separate from companies changing logos, I think when you do post that screenshot on twitter that says, Hey, I made this donation to black lives matter, and so I'm like, I think there's two ways you can look at it, and some people like to go down the virtue signaling route. I go the opposite. I think you're showing and telling your associate's, the people who look up to you, admire you and follow you, I'm standing for something. And when you think about how dangerous it is to just sit on the sidelines, right, and that's kind of how we've gone to the point in this country where we are right now, by people saying, well, this isn't really affecting me and I don't want to necessarily change my position, so I'm not going to go out of my way to do anything different. Right. I would much rather someone say, Hey, I actually made a donation to black lives matter, and maybe you need to say what the amount was. Right, maybe you'll need to go that route, but just say hey, like, I actually made this donation and I want the people who respect me and who are my peers to to know that I did this, because maybe that can spark additional conversations. Maybe someone calls you and says, Hey, it's Sam, like, I thought you did that and like I wouldn't do that. Why did you do it? Right, and then you could have your own ecle conversation and begin to move the needle. But yeah, I think you're not opposer or not being an authentic you have to start somewhere and it's going to feel uncomfortable, it's going to be hard, but most things, especially for us, you know it's revenue leaders and revenue individuals. We know the hard things usually have the biggest reward on the other side. You know, I think this is a really complex issue and there's not a silver bullet here right, and it does require people to be vulnerable and that's not always accepted with open arms, but I think it's important that people try and put themselves out there, and so I would encourage everyone to do whatever they feel is right, as long as it's a positive move in the right direction, regardless of how people react or whether or not people are accepting of it, because it's important to be a first mover in this issue and it's also important to keep the momentum going. I think the thing that I'm recognizing and certainly concerned about is that there are a lot of things that are not necessarily happening. You know, there was a moment of for stration. People reacted and acted out and there was a lot of attention. But now, as we're getting into late July and there's a lot of other things happening right now, the coronavirus rearing its head, this is now becoming a muted topic and that really really concerns me, and so you know, from my perspective, Sam, I think it's fair to call out hey, you know, maybe some people have gone out there and then they've maybe gotten pushed back or it's not been accepted. The way they've reacted to the situation doesn't matter right. If this is something that moves you to take an action, please continue to take those actions because of the important that those actions keep happening. And so I would encourage anyone out there that would feel anyanks to around, you know, reposting or participating or donating, to not have those emotions because it's a very important to continue to have attention to the things that are happening now so this doesn't become another situation where it's just an expression of outrage and then the world gets back to living. And so that, I think. That's my reaction to that that question and conversation. I think that's a great point. You know, if I look at myself, you know there's one concrete step that I've done and one that I look forward to working with Sam and the rest of revenue collective on. So the one concrete step that I did was on three of our team calls after George Floyd's murder, I talked about race and that those are actually the first balls, you know, I've been a sales leader since two thousand and six that I've ever talked about race on a sales call. Then doing that, you know, was uncomfortable, but to me it was important for my team to hear my views and I don't think I would have done that five years ago or previously. And then second is, you know, working with revenue collective and revenue collective of color on a hiring pledge. To me, you know, revenue collective represents two thous growth stage companies and companies of all shapes and sizes, but you know, these companies can be much more nimble and can really put their collective actions make a big difference in a relatively short amount of time the amount of...

...people of color that they hire and specifically the amount of black people that they hire, and so I think, you know, that could be something. If Sam and the leadership of revenue collective and the four of us can get more and more companies behind, then that to me, like the cumulative effect could be massive. I think, Davante, in one of our earlier conversations you mentioned how someone said they were going to do these twenty different things and it's like wait, like let's try to do a few things that matter and or sustained and can make a difference over time. So that's an example of one thing I did, and then I'm really excited to work with revenue collective on, you know, types of pledges of companies. I think, Sam, we might be showing some data of just, you know, on the surveys we did, how low relatively hiring people of color is today at a new collective which, to my knowledge, is the first time data like this has been collected for companies, you know, like like the ones that are members. Yeah, yeah, we'll be. I'm at the Bronte were a rubber sort of when I was just going to say that. I think the intentionality like that you pointed out. It has to be there. You know, there's there's racism as a whole in this country. That is going to take a very long time to make progress on and I think we all see that marathon and we're all committed to it. But I appreciate that you pointed out like we work at pandemic aside and there's a lot going on, you know, from economic perspective, but we work at these companies that scale so quickly. Right, you're at fifty employees in January and by November you've doubled in size, tripled in size. So I think that you can be intentional and very quickly change the the makeup of your team, which you know from a diversity of the you know, we've seen all the studies. I say more diverse teams perform well and so on. But also you'll become more welcoming. Right. I think the more your team reflects what the country looks like in the more diversified your team is and people are going to start to want to imbound and be a part of that team. So I think there's like this fly wiel that can start. You need to have this intentionality in the beginning and over time you'll just have a place where people from different backgrounds enjoy coming to work and want to be a reference and so on. But you have to be intentional in the beginning. Yeah, agree, and actually I would say that that intentionality has to be persistent and consistent. If it's intentional and then you move on and nothing really changes. We were talking about this a little bit yesterday, but if you kind of look at the amazing thing that happened for two thousand and fifteen to now, for the kind of the Women's movement into Corporate America, we can do to study last year and what they saw was there's actually a thirty four percent increase of women in leadership positions within Corporate America, and that required a persistent intentionality, not just a once kind of movement. In now this is kind of the movement to jure it's let's keep this going and let's let's have momented behind this thing and let's make sure it continues to be a topic of discussion in board rooms and where we're hiring and who were hiring, and I think it's important. It's a very important conversation. I think it's time for people to take this thing seriously. Brandon, wanted, and you were saying, the thing that you made a point of when we were talking before, which I which I just Reson, you know, resonated with me, which was this idea that for some reason it's it was more it felt more appropriate or more possible to say we're going to hire you know, we're done, these two positions are open on executive team and we're going to make sure that one out of the two of them is a woman. And I am not aware that we've had that same deliberate openness about black people or people of colors. Say We've got an executive position open, we're going to make sure that we hire a person of color for that role. Maybe that's part of what we need to start to the point of intention holiday and just saying hey, in the comment that I made, which could, you know, just will be vulnerable and to acknowledge that we're not on perfect or I'm certainly not read in collective we have these city formations and we have chapter heads and we have a rule that we're not going to have a new chapter head without a female counterpart. And for some reason I felt completely comfortable saying that and I haven't been saying but I will going forward. There needs to be a person of color on the leadership team of every city where we start a new chapter and that's just, you know, that resonated with me, like let's be as intentional about, you know, about diversity in all directions, not just gender diversity. And and I do want to be clear, like there's no way, shape or form, you know, do I believe, I think any of you guys believe, that there's parity in the workforce when it comes to women in professional seats, but I think the really important thing is that there was and continues to be that intentionality to change it and it's something that's very unapologetic and people are very comfortable having that conversation. But when it comes to people of Color, black professionals in the workforce, that same conversation, as far as you know I've been involved...

...in, is never really been something that people are comfortable having that conversation with. So we had a few other questions that were there and I'm curious in terms of we're talking about organizations and I, you know, an individual contributor on this call, but you've all lead, or I've led teams. Can you talk about, you know, how corporate America can impact Social Justice? Right, so, in this particular moment, what can companies decide to do? Right? So there's on one degree, each of you individually can sit down and say I want to make these decisions for my team and you kind of have in your head, but what can be said in the board room with the rest of the sea suite and the executive team to say, Hey, we need to get this type of commitment going? So taking it from something that you're individually trying to do as a leader or maybe your segment of the business and opening and saying you know, the company can actually come forth and we can make a difference. Well, I think, Duvante, you know, we were talking about it before. There's this phrase I saw on twitter, you know, either hire or wire, which is the point of you know, either higher people of Color directly and make that a commitment, or fund and invest in black and people of color entrepreneurs so that those companies can get off the ground. I think that's one part of what needs to happen, is just actual tangible commitments. You know, Duvante, you you were talking before offline about how and it also doesn't just need to be coquipment right. It doesn't just need to be like junior level highers, but that there's people of color at all levels of seniority that can come into an organization. I think one thing would just need to make to happen is we need to make hiring commitments. And then I think there's probably just like an ongoing educational gap and and somehow destigmatizing the conversation itself, which is part of what we're trying to do so that issues can serve face more easily. I guess I'm that sort of my perspective. I don't know what you all think. Yeah, I think you guys, is good. Only thing I'd add is, you know, one thing I was very excited to see from recent events was that it seemed like as more companies put out public statements in support of groups like black lives matter social justice, than that pressured other companies to do the same. And I don't remember seeing that, whether it was traded on, Martin, Eric Garner any other times that this has come up, I don't remember seeing where was such a push of corporate America doing the same thing at the same time of talking about that and to me like that really matter. So I totally agree. Like, as an individual manager, what can I do directly? I can hire more people of color. I can, and I know we'll get to this, I can, you know, be more intentional about making sure that I'm interviewing more black people or people of color. But then, I think secondarily, like having more companies do this and make statements about it, that all adds up where you have more and more CEO's that talk about this and and that to me really filters down to the decisions that that all their managers and VP's make. Yeah, I think there's this kind of scapegoating of it's a pipe rhyme problem. We don't have enough candidates of color to actually move the needle. What I'd say to that is if you look at the trajectory or increase of black Americans, what they college education, that number is increasing at a much larger rate than the actual populations of black Americans and professional workforce. And so I would say that's that's not necessarily true based on data. Right, if you're seeing a, you know, far more percentage of black African Americans with a professional college degree or at least a bachelor level, they're not seeing the numbers change at that same magnitude, then that means you we're just not getting it a see at the table and that's, I think, a big problem that needs to change. Yeah, I also think that I'm not a fan of kind of going in line with with Sam's Vulnera really earlier. Like I hate the idea that people think that diversity inclusion efforts means lowering the bar for the quality of talent, that you're going higher, like that's I think that's ridiculous. You know, if you're if you have a job description just in general that requires, you know, three years of experience and a coding language that is, you know, eighteen months old like that needs to be changed, right. But in terms of looking for talent, you're not lowering the bar when you were hiring a person of color. You don't need to lower the bar when you decide to put these initiatives together, and I think that's that's a something I feel strongly about. Be You know, I think that's a conversation that happens behind closed doors, that no one really, you know, discusses. And in Sam to go back to your point of hiring or wiring, I don't know how I feel about that, because I feel like for some organizations they have enough, you know, capital where like they can wire in. That's that's why I did it, like I'm I gave you money and someone else can figure out how to fix it right, instead of figuring out like I'm going to do that part, but I'm also going to make a commitment right, and it seems like, you know, Roberts brought it up a few times. We can coming back to the commitments. So I'm excited to talk about,...

...you know, that initiative from revenue collective, but I don't think it should be higher or wire. I think it needs to be higher and wire. Fair enough. Okay, Davante, you were mentioning you know, what's your perspective? We were talking about it yesterday. How do you feel if, if the companies do institute this initiative and you and there's this there's sort of sort of like double edged there's this weird feeling of like am I being singled out? Are they? Are they offer me this job because a black person, or did I actually qualify for it? If they specifically say, Hey, we're trying to hire more diversity, we're trying to harm more people of Color and, Davante, we would love for you to apply to this job, and you were mentioning that you had mixed emotions about that too, because you I mean, there's no good there's an easy answer to it, because on the one hand we're saying companies need to make these hiring commitments and on the other hand we're saying, but I also don't want to feel like they're just they're lowering their standards in any way. They're not lowering their standards, they're just making a hiring commitment. How do you feel about that? Yeah, I mean you're definitely not lowering your standards if you hire me or if you hire another person of color, because the quick plug there. But I do think that there's this scenario that is going to arise where you are a person of color and you're offered the role and you know the company is trying to bring on more people of Color, and I think that is you know, it's a scenario that I personally haven't had the face yet, but I don't know what I would do right and I think the big piece of that is me openly saying to you all, on to everyone listening, I don't know a lot of the things that we're dealing with. It's very vague and ambiguous and we don't know. You know, there's the there's the kind of follow through. So now you get brought on board and everyone knows the company made a statement in May that they wanted to hire more people of Color, and then you get hired in June. Everyone know who is that? Like? You were hired as one of the people who are supposed to move the needle on diversity. Are you now a token within the company? Are you now the face of all the African Americans or the people of Color in the company. Are you expected to do more than your job right which? I don't know if you were going to get to this, brandon, but a lot of the time we see individual contributors or people that don't have a tremendous amount of power right now, in these past three or four months, they're the ones asking to look at a press release before it goes out. They're the ones that are being asked like hey, we want to say this, but can you make sure this is going to be okay? So there's a lot that comes with you know, knowing a company is trying to bring on and add diversity in the you being that person that I wish I could speak to from an experience of pro purse perspective. These are me just making assumption. So maybe that's someone will bring on to the call. But yeah, I don't I don't really know what you're supposed to do when you find yourself in that particular moment. Yeah, I mean there's kind of a few reactions that I have to this conversation. You know, one, I do think there's a huge nepotism is issue in the startup community. It's really hard to break into those circles and when you talk about high growth companies, many times, right, it's kind of a band of pirates that move from ship to ship and it's really hard to get on to that pirate crew if you're not, you know, of that Ilk. And so I think there's, you know, maybe something to be said around Hey, you know, me, as a founder, the next time I start to think about who are those five or ten people that I want to bring into my garage, maybe I need to have some reflection to say, hey, I want to have a different type of company this next time around and I'm going to be proactive around you know who's a part of that founding organization. And I think those types of conversations need to happen, certainly with this community at revenue collective, but I do think there's a big issue both here and Silicon Valley and certainly New York, as New York is growing very rapidly in terms of turning out very successful startups and companies, and those are the roles that really move the needle in terms of an economic situation. Right, those are the people that actually get higher share of equity and those are the people that actually have, you know, higher return investment from spending their time and energy growing and building a company, and so I'd say you know, next time that you know anyone on this call is looking to start to the build that founding team, make sure that team looks like America and not just the same folks that you kind of, you know, went went back to the same well, Davan say you and I have had some really personal conversations over the last month and I think you're referring to one conversation that you and I had around a situation where I had a recruiter within our firm sending me a tremendous amount of resumes and, quite frankly, they all looked the same, and so I got access to our linkedin recruiter account also tremendous amount of people of color with it that it's submitted applications for organization that, for whatever reason, didn't make it through. I don't believe that person was racist whatsoever, but I do believe unconscious bias does play a huge role. And who goes from that recruiter list to now? WHO's kind of in my purview of people that I want to actually have a phone call with, and so I do think it just takes you...

...know, for people to recognize that, hey, if I know I got ten resumes and they all look the same, why don't I go back in and see what else is going on there if there's a way that I can actually be a part of the solution as opposed to just accepting whatever my fall into my inboxes as far as potential candidates for a role. And to that point, I hope there's a few things, you know, just with revenue of collective color that we could do, like for me, like one simple step to this would be next time my team has an open position posted in revenue collective of color first and try to get some amazing kididates. Try to get to know or great revenue leaders like yourself and Davante, so that you from the start like you're not just getting referrals from your employees, that you know those referrals are going to tend to be more white. So I think there's some you know, hopefully the more that revenue collective grows and the more that revenue collective of color grows, the more that it's just that much easier to have a great pipeline first, and I think Davante and some of our conversations you've talked about, like company shouldn't just solve diversity by hiring more SDRs or more entry level talent. You know, there's talented account executive, talented revenue leaders, and those people exist and I think as leaders of organizations you just need to be more intentional of seeking that out. And it's not like you need to do twenty extra steps. There's some pretty scalable things like posting and revenue collective of color that I think really benefit. Yeah, I mean I think we're all uniquely suited doing worse sales people. We know how to hunt and convince right, like we know the tools are out there and ways to go look for people. It's just, you know, kind of setting aside the time to do so. And Brennan, when you mentioned earlier, they had like the pirate crew going from ship to ship. You know, I think about this notion of you can't really start something new with a diverse group of people if you don't know anyone right, if you don't interact with, you know, people of Color on a regular basis outside of work, and I think that was one of the things, you know, we briefly talked about yesterday and, like I feel strongly about. Is like solving for racism, but also kind of solving for the injustices in the workplace. That can be nine to five. So you can't, you know, from not am to five PM, say like listen, I want to hire more people of Color, I want to make this team more diverse, and then five pm comes you like all right, back to my life, my world, where I do not interact with people of color, you know, and I don't know how to solve for that, but I do think that's something for you know, everyone that's listening and on the call to think about. Is like, are you actually trying to just do this because you think it's the right thing and do within the workplace, or are you able to plug it into the bigger picture of America and figure out how can you, you know, interact with more people so that when your company does something awesome and IPOs and you have this huge inflex capital and you want to start something new, now you know the people that you can go, you know, start that next venture with. That's why I Cheer Point Dante. That's why it's such a loaded and kind of for some people. So it's a dangerous topic because you want to make sure, because of this fact, that you don't. I don't want you to feel like we're friends because I need to check off a box that I have x number of black friends in my life, but I also don't want that I and I don't want you to feel like you're the representative or spokesperson for all black men in America. But I also do probably have questions that I want to ask you about your experience so that I can find common ground without exhausting you with the weight of being the spokesperson right, and you can in you just being you, and I think that's you know, we were talking about like destigmatizing the conversation and just finding some way where it's not we're not also, or at least I'm not, you know, terrified, or terrifies not the right word, but just nervous about about making sure that I don't do something that might be interpreted in the wrong way. It also not doing things that are offensive. You know, it's sort of like this the whole time we're working at the news. I wanted to make sure that I always wanted to make sure that you felt comfortable and that you felt like there was a career path for you and that you felt, but I also didn't want to make you feel like you are probably already felt like, Hey, you're only black man on the team. You know, it's like this very the and we were we've been talking about it, but I know my goal, my hope. I think what we all want is we all want we all want race to be less an issue. You know, we want ten years from now, we just want company. I we talked about and again, I was saying this yesterday. You know, I think England as a country, the United Kingdom is a country, has a lot of problems with race. But when you go to London specifically, it just feels very different to see the different culture, like we're just a lot more diversity on the street and it's not even commented on. It doesn't seem to be as big a deal as it is in the United States and I...

...want our country to be like that at some point. But it feels like to get to that point we need to be able to talk about it a little bit more openly. I don't you know which is which is challenging, because there's always a fear that you're going to you're going to step on the wrong land mine. And and all of a sudden you've entered into an area where you said something ignorant or uneducated and and now now you're in, you know, now you're in the bad thing. Yeah, I mean that's the whole point of this conversation, right. The four of us are not DNI experts. We're not going to go starter consultancy that help you, you know, do X Y Z projects. Right. The point is we're having a conversation that can be awkward and we're trying to figure out how to navigate it. And, you know, we decided, the four of us, that we want to set an example for other people to have these conversations. We want to create worlds where, you know, we have, you know, over a hundred people in the revenue, you know, collective alle community, and then, you know, another subset of folks that are in the revenue collective, the color community, and like, okay, great, now we have these safe faces and we have these people who have raised their hand and said they want to advocate. That means to bring them together, right, and have more of these conversations and break out groups and so on. So I think like that is the reason why we're here, is because we want to set the example of people going out of their way to be uncomfortable, to be vulnerable, because that's how you grow, you know. So I appreciate you saying that, but I think this in itself is an example of US trying to figure out what that next step is. I don't know if you or you ran in a Robert, would have anything there. I think you nail the good will say. So a good, good point is I know we all took some time to prepare, but how did you feel coming into this conversation, Sam, I think you kind of alluded to it, so I don't know if you want to give, you know, Robert or brandon a chance to speak up at what were your thoughts and how did you, you know, prepare for this conversation? One I was really happy to see Sam and the revenue collective take on this issue, and this is certainly not the only thing that's happening within revenue collective to help you kind of advance this conversation, and so I think it's an important one to have. Really encouraged by the amount of attention and support this community is giving this issue. And the thing that, yeah, Sam and I had a conversation, you know, really quickly after the George Floyd murder incident, just around the power of the community within revenue collective and I think there's certainly a lot of folks that are in hiring positions that are probably on this call that can make a difference, and so it's great to bring awareness. It's awesome that people having an ear and are listening and hearing things from a different perspective and now it's time to kind of put things in action. But it does start with having some conversations like this too, to make sure you know the the momentum is building and not kind of dining down, as I alluded to earlier in the conversation. Yeah, I mean the only thing I'll add is I think you know, just like Sam gave the example of, you know, chapter heads and the change that he's going to make after, you know, recognizing that. You know, I could think of other examples. For me, we're to your point, Brandon. You know, five years back when lots of companies are like, okay, we need more temail executives, and I remember being at a company and we had, I think, ten people that were on the website and only one of those ten was a woman and we're like, should we take our pictures down? You know, what do we do? Do we put her at the top, like but all throughout that conversation we didn't acknowledge the fact that all ten of us were white and that there was no person of color. And so I think you know that awareness and as leaders of revenue collective saying okay, you know, I can do better. For me to say, if I look back at by fourteen years as a sales leader, I don't think I'd defied myself as an ally, but that doesn't mean I can't change and and become one. Meant to say, you know, I could do better. So and to say that, you know, we have, whatever it is, a hundred and ten people listening live and this will be on a podcast and I can say that to everyone and hopefully, you know, lots more people can recognize. Okay, like I can do small things that all of that, you know, really adds up to something, hopefully very big, and I would just underscore. And then we've got about fifteen minutes maybe in there have been a lot of questions and we should probably, you know, look to look to address them, but you know, for me it comes back to to your point, Robert, and to everybody's point. You got to put down the fear a little bit and you got to put down the fear of somebody on Linkedin telling you that your opposer or that you're fake or that it's performative or that you've worked through signaling. You, guys, start somewhere and you got to do something. Yes, it's often not enough, but it's off sin at least it's a start, and I think that's just part of what we all have to do is just accept that everybody's trying to improve, trying to change, trying to get better, as opposed to saying, well, you know, they...

...made that post. I don't. I don't really think that they believe it. You know, or that's not enough. Changing the logo of the your company or changing the background of your profile picture on twitter is not enough. Agreed. That that it's not enough. Agreed, but we also don't want to shame people for taking initial steps. For them that might be difficult. I don't know if y'all agree, but that's my perspective. I think. I think the concept real quick soapboxes, this word virtue signaling is a very dangerous partnership word and it's and it's and it's probably more toxic than than than the actual actions that it chooses to ascribe or describe, because all people are doing when they're virtue signaling is they're trying to put what they think is a positive message out into the world and then they're being undermined by people where they're not living up to some arbitrary standard, and I just think we all got to like check ourselves a little bit that if people are trying and making an effort, then that's there's a lot of people that aren't trying and aren't making an effort. So we can't shame the people that are trying and are making an effort or how I've changed their minds or are taking initial steps. If we want to encourage that, that's what we want. So that's just my perspective. I agree you got to start somewhere. I know you want to hop into questions. I did want to discover one last thing, very brief it was. It was a question I like, which was, you know, what do you think you can personally do? I think we've talked a lot about what our companies can do as a whole what we can do as individuals working for organizations. But I think a really good, good place before we bump into questions, is what can you know we personally do to impact this movement and how would you measure your success? Yeah, so me personally, I'm dedicating a lot more time that I want to carve out for mentorship. Davante, we had a conversation within the our CEOC community a few weeks back and there was just, you know, a void or a vacuum of mentorship. You know, when people of Color, you get into two positions of leadership within these organizations, they're often times, isn't that arm, you know, to kind of reach back and start to pull people up? And so for me personally, I'm definitely dedicated and want to carve out a lot more time to figure out ways to to, you know, share my brain with folks, to help them think about their career and how do they advance themselves. And so from a personal perspective, I think that's something that's important to me and in certainly I think can make a difference on a personal level. I'll go next. For me personally, I think it's really working with Sam and Devante you and Brandon on on the pledge. You know, I think at a high level we've talked about you know, if an organization can pledge to have a twenty five percent increase and they're the hiring of people of Color and specifically black people, I think if you get a hundred companies to do that, accumulative effect of that is hundreds of highers that might not have been made because companies are more intentional about what they're doing. That fun thing I prepoe to working with with everyone on in the coming few months. For me, I mean it's it's some of the things that we're doing right. I want to make sure this isn't the only time we have this conversation. I want to make sure that the next time we have the next epot in this series as women that are participating, because I think that a black woman's experience is still even different than a black man's experience and I want to make sure that we're hearing from all perspectives. I also want I'm really inspired by Brandon story from money was growing up in Michigan was all about. You went to the guidance counsel in high school and they said, you know, you enjoin the Army, you can become a cop income social worker, you know, and that the army recruiters down the hall so happy to go. Like why do we go baying me money to, you know where she's Bay me money to sign you up. And I really want to build mentor short programs that reached people earlier in their lives, not just when they're coming out of Undergrad but when they're coming out of high school or in high school, and I want to use revond collector to do that and they departner or with my mentor and the brother Big Sister Organization of America and really try and just spread the word that, like, Hey, there are more possibilities than maybe people are presenting to you. There are great careers and technology sales. You don't have to be a developer. None of us know. You know, I don't know how to have had a code, and yet you can have a tremendous amount of value that these plays. So that's something I'm particularly passionate about, besides just continuing to both create content but also make sure that the content that we have that's not about race features diverse stations on it that, when you know it's a conversation about a companies marketing. It's not always just a white man that different people from different perspectives are always featured, even when we're not talking about race, especially when we're not fucking about race. Yeah, so our companies are part of the US Travel Association, which comprised of the majority of the major travel companies within the United States. So Mary I,...

United Disney, all of these big brands participate, as well some financial services industries like American Express and JP Morgan that, you know, really work within the travel industry to provide commerce opportunities, and so they were really getting involved in the diversity and inclusion conversation, particularly as it relates to to black people of participating in that economy. Not next Friday, but the following I've been invited to actually sit down with the board of directors, which is a hundred and sixty people. See Level of a love and you know, we're going to put it together a game plan on how we solve for this within travel industry. So quite excited about that and hopefully I'll be able to share some great things with the revenue collective community around those opportunities once that conversation happens. And I think that you know, things like that and having those types of conversations can make a difference at a really large scale. So very excited about that opportunity and to do think the travel industry, just giving how robust that is. Certainly you know, when we start to rebound out of covid could open up a tremendous amount of economic opportunities for people of Color. Awesome, Sam. Were there any questions that were sent in that you wanted to ask the group? Yeah, well, I you know, again it's sort of relating to this is an important one. How can an HR department facturationalversity into their higher position without violating title seven, and I think that's something we've talked about it. Was It rout hoops, Robert? Did you have some specific data there, and so sort of like guidance or how how it can think about this? Sure, so at a high level, you know, companies can and are encouraged to get more diversity in their application. So if you think of diversity conferences like a gracehopper, if you think of building relationships with HBCUS, if you think of doing whatever you can as an organization to get more diverse candidates to apply for your role. That is a hundred percent legal, that is a hundred percent encouraged. Once the application and is made. As an employer you're supposed to be blind to someone's gender or ethnicity. But in terms of getting more candidates to apply as well as I think I saw it somewhere in the chat, really collecting data in your ATS system and understanding, okay, if, let's say a third of my applications are people of Color, put only ten percent of my highers or people of color, than what's happening in my interview process for that to be the case, and understanding why that is and fixing that. But I think if its company is works to get more amazing candidates in their funnel and works to look at the data, then then hopefully the magic can happen for more companies and who make more diverse highres. I also saw something in to chat about into retension. I think the more diverse highres you're going to make and the more you train your company about diversity and inclusion, then it's going to be a lot easier to retain employees. There's a there's a really first of all, just FY we can only have four video sources. So I wasn't able to do a screen Chare, but I did post in a presentation which is the results of a survey that we ran the week of June ten. That just talks about some that has some data in it that I think sopefully, what we want to change. If you look at slide eleven, what percent of your team, your immediate team, consists of people of color? You included, and we see that twenty three percent it was zero, and fifty five percent it was, you know, under twenty five percent. And so I think one of the the things we can do just to make a difference is let's run this in three months and six months and and twelve months see these numbers change and hopefully, especially this zero percent number change. And Scott, you know you said could the size of the challenge lead corporations to apathy? I think that's why, that's why these hiring commitments are so important, because we're not asking to change the entire world. We're saying, like, let's make an impact on the specific percentage. Last point I'll say is Tommy from Amsterdam says I spoke with another member who is taking issue with unpaid internships. When she's coming out of college. She felt like she was at a disadvantage because her life was not allowing her to get the step forward because we did not have the resources to fund this. Could Change in policy on unpaid internships to be away for companies to hire and wire, and I just want to sort of like plus one hundred that unpaid internships are really just a filtering mechanism for people that come from money, and that's why, if you want to break into fashion, to take it on paid internship. If you want to work at x y froom place, you take an unpaid internship, and all that means is that you have money from some other place. So I also think we should take a stand against unpaid internships. If you're going to have people doing stuff for you, you should pay them to do it, in my opinion. Yeah, wanted to shopping there with like a personal story. So obviously you know I've been a higher manager and I know it's great when you can see someone studied abroad or where someone went to school. And the two quick things I'll say is, in terms of something very simple like study abroad, I was pretty much like heartbroken my sophomore yere I got accepted into this program to...

...go and stay in Spain for two months and I literally created a Gofund me to try to get people to raise money to send me to Spain and I didn't raise enough money so I couldn't go. And like it was. You know, I try to put a good spin on it and you know, facebook wasn't this crazy back then, so I was like trying to, you know, get cousins and aunts and uncles and friends and family to help me do that. But, like, you know, it's kind of embarrassing looking back. But I also think that if someone else's, you know, resume is very much identical to mine, but they were able to go do that unpaid internship or they were able to go, you know, do that study abroad, like now, they're standing out and it's solely because of you know, economic differences. And the other thing I'd say is when you start thinking about schools that people went to, write like my I was, you know, my mom got pregnant with me her senior year of high school. I was born that summer after she graduated. But my dad originally was supposed to go and run track in Arizona right and you know, he ended up going to Seaton Hall and stay in local and I did as well, but his entire life was changed. You know, he's still ended up being able to go to college, but he couldn't kind of go as far I'm and have like a better, you know, school on his resume because of, you know, some some things that you know affected him growing up. So I think it's just like I think the conversation would go on for a very long time, but there's so many different pieces of what ends up on someone's resume that we just don't know and don't know how to ask. You know, there's some and called a chronological interview which, like you, ask everyone, why'd you make this decision? Why did you do that? But like what if someone doesn't want to tell you I actually chose to go to ruckers over Xyz school because, like I had to take care of my little sister or something like that. So, you know, again, conversation that can go deeper another day, but just that that point really resonated with me a lot folks. It's about twelve fifty PM. Really appreciate everybody that joined. This session is immediately available for rewatching by just the same link. You can just the same link works as a DVR and there's going to be we're going to do more of these and we're going to feature different perspectives and different speakers, not just not just us. Brandon, if folks want to get in touch with you, let's just go around and just drop some contact information in case anybody wants to reach out to anybody on this. Call Brandon. What's a good email, adjeft for your folks want to contact you? Yeah, Brandon, Bra and Deo and Dot Myers and Ey erst a daacom or linkedin in backslash Myers. Be Awesome. Davante, your you've got a RS email address. You want to use that one or which one you wanting. Is enough to kind of remember what my link is from a moment early, but you can reach me. What it comes to our COOC at, Davante, Dva Nte at Revenue Collectivecom and if you want to connect with me or learn about how slack can help Your Business, is collaborating and no sullies, the more effective. For Yeah, linkedincom in, Davante, Luis Sex. Awesome, Robert Great, my email is our daniel a way up. Our Daniel it way up and you can find me on Linkedin. Robert Daniel, love to connect, awesome, and I'm stam at Revenue Collectivecom we're going to be doing more of these. We recognize that diversity doesn't just means skin color, but it means gender, means, frankly, age. There's all kinds of different ways that we want to bring different perspectives to bear within revenue quick thank you all for joining us and you'll hear from us for the next event and thanks to my fellow panelist. Hi everybody. That was the awkward conversation with myself, Brandon Myers, devante Lewis Jackson and Robert Daniel. We've got many more coming in terms of this series, including, of course, featuring women, since it's hard to talk about diversity and inclusion if you're not featuring people that are that are identifying as women or even non binary people. So we're going to make sure that the participants in future conversations reflect gender equality, not just racial equality. But we hope you enjoyed it. We've got a lot of more special bonus podcast episodes coming up from the revenue collective podcast featuring some of the great content of some of the great events that were hosting that you may have missed, so just subscribe, give us five stars on Itunes if you can, and be on the lookout for for more great sessions. Thanks so much for listening.

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