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TrailBlazers: How Top Business Leaders are Accelerating Results through Inclusion and Diversity by Lenora Billings-Harris, Redia Anderson

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Chapter 1. Meet the Trailblazers

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."

—William Faulkner

Industry leaders—especially those determined to build a culture of inclusion and diversity within their organizations—are becoming more abundant. You don't have to look far to see the effects of the efforts that so many visionary people have made in industry as well as in society. They are often unsung heroes that step up, face the unknown, and move forth in sometimes the darkest hours, clutching the belief that what they do now will have a lasting impact on others for years, and generations, to come.

These Trailblazers, as we will refer to them in this book, each have a story to go along with their incredible efforts and accomplishments. Each was carefully chosen to exemplify the true spirit of not only diversity and inclusion, but also of holding true to one's own and the organization's values.

As we conducted our interviews, what became apparent was that each person had unique experiences and stories, which shaped their views and behaviors regarding inclusion at a relatively young age. Each individual we've spotlighted has faced many challenges along their journey. Rather than accept what was good enough and handing down the idea of a system that wasn't effective to the next generation, they instead focused on actions to create a better tomorrow for everyone.

All of these incredible people, both men and women, are pioneers in ...

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