White women and people of color now constitute the majority of the U.S. workforce, yet ninety-seven percent of senior managers of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1,000 industrial companies remain white men. It's clear that leaders of American organizations are requited to play key roles in a world that has become strange to them, says Cross. To succeed in an increasingly competitive global environment, our organizational leaders must have the courage to act outside their comfort zones—to try to understand, interact with, motivate, develop, and retain a work force that is alien to them.Cross' book provides the practical assistance they need. Because racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression are not rational, help cannot be found wholly in rationalism. Such biases arise from emotional and psychological bases. Our leaders are thus forced to confront their barriers within barriers that exist at every level of their organization. Cross uses her own experiences as an African American woman and as an experienced, and recognized management consultant to demonstrate how oppression functions at the individual, group, and systems levels, but her book is not a memoir. Rather, it is a sophisticated explication of a complex and complete system of organizational change, with case studies and other useful aids, which, if fully grasped, will enable courageous leaders to succeed in understanding and dealing effectively with the urgent crosscultural and gender issues in the workplace.
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