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Celebrating Differences The True Essence of Diversity

We hear so much these days about the divisions between us—all those things that keep us apart. Gender, age, race, origin, politics, they are all showing up as what divides us. It makes us cautious (or not), caring (or not), trusting (or not).

But what if we recognize that no two of us are the same? How alike are you and your siblings—or the rest of your family? I have ways of talking and doing things just like mom and dad and my sisters. I also have ways of doing things—thinking, speaking, behaving and influencing—that are totally different. Not better. Not worse. I might think my way is better. It isn’t. My way is just different.

Not all women or men are the same. Not all are people of color or Republicans or Democrats. Not all are immigrants. Certainly not all are Americans. We are ALL DIFFERENT. As my parents used to say, “That’s why Howard Johnsons has 28 flavors!” Today, it could be coffee: “Starbucks offers more than 80,000 drink combinations,” the company’s global chief marketing officer told HuffPost Taste. We all like—demand—something different.

When you design your products and services, do you think that one size fits all? Usually not. You know that you have different users who want—and expect—something unique to them. And while some of us have a unique specialized niche, such as men’s or women’s clothing for professionals in a specific price range, you might choose to have a wide variety of sizes, colors and styles.

You get the point. We’re all different. We see things differently. Express ourselves differently. Do things our own ways.

Third Level’s work is all about helping leaders and teams have great success by working passionately well, together. If your team is all the same, then you are likely hiring and training in your own image. You like a certain style, and you (un)consciously want everyone to be that way. Problem is, your clients and customers are diverse. I am a gregarious, change-loving, extrovert who loves “being in the moment” with others. I know systems and processes are valuable, needed and profitable for my company. I just don’t “do” them easily and well. Luckily, I know that, and I have people on my team who do. Our difference makes us a much better team.

Can you imagine what it would be like if all of your team had the perfect salesperson’s profile—and nobody took care of the processes or the accounting?

Or, if your whole company were data geeks, and never really wanted to understand your team or your customer? It simply would not work.

Look for styles, attributes, preferences, as well as skills and talents that are varied and different.

Maybe if we celebrate our differences in this way, build better mousetraps, and have greater success, our communities can as well. 

Stephen Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or sgarber@thirdlevel.com.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.