“Be a J.E.D.I. Leader, Not a Boss” by Omar L. Harris

Be a J.E.D.I. Leader, Not a Boss

Leadership in the Era of Corporate Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Omar L. Harris
Intent Books (2021)
ISBN 979-8506121855
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (9/2021)

In a galaxy close, close to home, we are suffering a dark, dark time in leadership.  The toxic practices, the current status quo and dark forces of leadership threaten to continue persisting, unless rebel forces rise up and become the J.E.D.I. leaders the world needs.

This book could not have been more perfect for me. As a fourth year doctoral student working on a dissertation in negatively masculine dominated cultures of predominately female workforces like nursing, teaching, and banking, this read was RIGHT up my alley and sat nicely at home with all the peer reviewed research I am constantly immersed in. However, the incredible thing was that while some leadership books, and certainly most all peer reviewed research, is dense and dull, “Be a J.E.D.I Leader, Not a Boss” was engaging, using real-world examples like the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal and Star Wars metaphors to connect readers to the topic at hand, while allowing them to ingest fully, all the anecdotes, statistics and knowledge being introduced. 

More importantly, this book felt genuine as the author himself wrote from an #OwnVoices perspective. As a black man in a predominately white pharmaceutical sales career, his stories and assessment were saturated entirely in honesty and backed by a broad array of research. This book was so well done in fact that I wholly anticipate not only referring to it frequently but gifting it to several of my own leadership team as a reference point to improve our own leadership capabilities to the level of J.E.D.I. status.

With a well-spoken, and well-versed author in the arena of corporate social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (J.E.D.I.) readers are sure to walk away from this book with many lessons, new perspectives, areas for improved diligence and talking points for peers and subordinates. I fully believe this is a book every leader, both informal and formal, should pick up.

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