Be Respectful, Leader: Living in a Diverse World – Nu Leadership Series

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Why is respecting each employee at the heart of this diversity frenzy? Let’s review our history. Hoyle, author of Leadership and Futuring, maintains futuring help leaders craft their desired futures. Although not obvious, one must understand history to engage in futurisms. We can apply this to diversity. What do workers want from diversity? Let’s go back to the future.

The Industrial Revolution was closely tied to advancements in science and technology. These advancements along with the cultural revolution replaced the agrarian system and created other social issues. Management didn’t trust agrarians; agrarians didn’t trust management. Therefore, the Agrarian Man was enslaved in a transactional relationship with management. Agrarians longed for their entrepreneur spirit.

Problems resulted. There were few seasoned managers and skilled laborers. Wages were kept deliberately low. Immigration growth mushroomed. Uncertainty about jobs continued. The government neglected workers, and Big Business ignored them. Discipline and motivation became problematic.

Therefore, laborers took matters into their own hands. Some workers started hurting businesses by breaking company equipment. This was called “Machine Smashing.” During this time, Critics argued that capitalism had robbed workers of a golden age of equality and freedom.

America achieved great wealth. America had become a more culturally diverse society. However, workers were considered little more than machinery to Big Business. Where are we today?


Hoyle, J. (1995). Leadership and Futuring. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Wren, D. (1994). The evolution of management thought. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
© 2006 by Daryl D. Green