No matter who we are or where we come from, our assumptions and beliefs are shaped by our experiences, our upbringing, our race, our gender, religion, culture. Those beliefs help us navigate and make sense of everyday life. But they can also mean that we believe that there is no difference between our perceptions and reality. For leaders, that means we must continuously question our perceptions of reality and value the voices of people who are not like us. Here are three Netflix specials to help you move beyond tolerance and toward inclusion.
1. Nanette by Hannah Gadsby
What it’s about and why watch it: In her 2018 Netflix comedy special “Nanette,” Gadsby delivered sharp, delightful jokes before methodically breaking down comedy’s limitations as she revealed her experiences with sexism, homophobia and violence. Refusing to offer escapist laughs, Gadsby forced the audience to sit with her pain — and it turned her into a sensation far beyond her native Australia.
What it’s about and why watch it: With a rapid-fire lesson in overlooked Latin history, Colombian-American actor John Leguizamo comes to Netflix with his one-man Broadway show John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons. Examining 3,000 years of Latino history, Leguizamo charts everything from a satirical recap of Aztec and Incan history to stories of Latin patriots in the American Civil War, revealing how whitewashed history truly is. Latin History For Morons earned a 2018 Tony Award nomination for Best Play on Broadway.
3. Homecoming King by Hasan Minhaj
What it’s about and why watch it: “Homecoming King” is a show crafted for an audience of second-generation Americans of color, the cultural misfits who make up what Minhaj calls a New Brown America. He is skilled at generalizing the behavior of the “brown dads” and “brown moms” who raised kids like him. A phrase in Hindi recurs throughout the show. It’s what Minhaj’s father says when he is concerned about breaking with traditions: log kya kyenge—what will people think? Minhaj’s special distills a lifetime of grappling with that refrain.
Bottom line. To lead effectively today, you need to constantly recalibrate your ability to assess reality correctly. Exercise your diversity and inclusion muscles by building your library of resources that challenge your perception of reality as a human being and as a leader.
Question: What resources do you use to challenge your perception of reality?