"Change leaders treat everyone as equals, there can be no exceptions, special circumstances or convenient oversight"
👏 Happy Friday!
On this day, August 18, 1963, James Meredith became the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Political Science. His repeated applications were denied solely on the basis of his race. State officials initially refused a U.S. Supreme Court order to integrate the school and blocked Meredith’s entrance. However, Meredith, an Air Force veteran, was admitted to the university under the protection of federal marshals following large campus riots that left two people dead. His graduation shattered barriers that had long denied black individuals access to higher education, symbolising a pivotal moment in the ongoing fight against racial segregation and discrimination. Meredith’s determination and courage in the face of violent opposition paved the way for greater inclusivity and diversity within academia.
✅ James Meredith told us, “My answer to the racial problem in America is to not deal with it at all. The founding fathers dealt with it when they made the Constitution.” Previously, on September 30, 1962, Meredith attempted to enrol at the University of Mississippi, but his presence sparked protests and riots among white supremacists and segregationists. U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy intervened and called in federal protection so that Meredith could register for class protected by a convoy of Federal Marshals. While he got settled in one of the school dorms, more than 2,500 angry students and outside agitators gathered around the main campus building. Later that night, John F. Kennedy went on national television to announce what had been achieved. He told the nation, “If this country should ever reach the point where any man or group of men by force or threat of force could long defy the commands of our court and our Constitution, then no law would stand free from doubt, no judge would be sure of his writ, and no citizen would be safe from his neighbors.” Leaders Treat Everyone as an Equal.
“Change leaders treat everyone as equals; there can be no exceptions, special circumstances, or convenient oversight”
👉 The third responsibility for the leadership team in fully implementing their organisation’s change is ‘INTERVENE to ensure sustainable change’. Once the leader’s change vision has been implemented, it is about making it sustainable and normal day-to-day operations. It is important that the leadership team effectively and proactively intervene to reinforce the change.
Have a fantastic weekend with the ones you love and care for, enjoy some fresh air, exercise, eat, drink and be happy.
Further Reading: Change Management Leadership - Leadership of Change Volume 4
Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.
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Peter F Gallagher is a Change Management Global Thought Leader, Guru, Expert, International Speaker, Author and Leadership Alignment Coach.
Listed #1 by leadersHum Top 40 Change Management Gurus You Should Follow in 2022 (Mar 2022).
Ranked #1 Change Management Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (2023-2022-2021-2020) by Thinkers360.
Ranked #1 Business Strategy Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Business Strategy (2022) by Thinkers360.
Ranked #2 Leadership Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Leadership (Aug 2020) by Thinkers360.
Business Book Ranking
Change Management Behaviour - Leadership of Change® Volume 6, listed among the 50 Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2022.
Change Management Adoption - Leadership of Change® Volume 5, listed among year-to-date’s (Jul 2021) most popular books on business and technology from Thinkers360 member thought leaders.
Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change® Volume 3, listed among the 50 Business and Technology Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2021.
Change Management Pocket Guide - Leadership of Change® Volume 2, ranked within the top 50 Business and Technology Books (Jan 2020) from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders.