Last month, I was fortunate to attend an event that celebrated the past, present and future of diversity in the advertising, marketing, communications and PR industries – the AdColor 2013 Awards and Industry Conference. ADCOLOR®, a nonprofit organization, strives to create a network of outstanding diverse professionals and champions of diversity and inclusion by honoring their accomplishments and leveraging their stories as a roadmap for others to follow.
Although it was the second time I attended the AdColor Awards, what made this experience even more personal was having been chosen for the AdColor Futures Class of 2013. Launched in 2012, ADCOLOR® FUTURES is a program geared towards nurturing the industry talent of tomorrow.
The most enlightening part of the weekend was the full-day intensive training by diversity firm Global Novations®: “Efficacy for Professionals™ of Color.”
The training began with a definition: “‘Efficacy’ is the POWER to PRODUCE a DESIRED EFFECT.” The words “power,” “produce” and “desired effect” were highlighted as a reminder to those of us in the room – we have the power to strategically create our paths to our dreams. Because we live in a fast-paced world, with technology bringing everything to our fingertips, we forget how it is that we reach our goals and forget to appreciate our accomplishments. This is why throughout the course of the day we were training ourselves to stop looking at the final outcome but to focus on our roadmap. I took away three main insights from the training:
- When we focus on the uncertainty of change, we tend to focus on the cost and not the benefit.
- When we focus on maintaining the status quo, we tend to focus on the benefit and not the cost.
- Consideration of the costs and benefits in both situations is critical to making decisions that drive your development.
Throughout the weekend, we were reminded to reflect on the AdColor motto, “As we rise up, we must reach back.” This month, I celebrate my 10th month at Edelman and the AdColor conference confirmed why I enjoy working here – Edelman’s business and people values are aligned with my own personal values. And I will reach back:
- As an employee, I promise to practice every day – with both my colleagues and clients – the family values that have shaped the culture of Edelman: Quality, Integrity, Respect, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Mutual Benefits and Citizenship.
- As a peer, I promise to share my confidence building and skill development exercises that would help my peers continue growing confidence in the ability to lead and manage more strategic and larger projects. No one is perfect, but we must continue focusing on the success we know we can do, because our managers and Edelman are here to guide us in our growth.
- As a manger, I promise to teach my junior staff to work hard, smart and become experts. We are all contributing to the success of Edelman and it’s important for all staff to understand how our work is valued by everyone.
Jennifer C. Vasquez is a senior account executive in Edelman multicultural, New York.