Change. Change is coming. Change is here and Leaders what are you doing about it?
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has recently been rescinded by the administration of President Trump. However, the implementation of the end of the program was delayed six months to give the U.S. Congress time to come up with a solution for those previously eligible for DACA.
There are three groups of DACA individuals that are directly affected: children (under 18), those over 18 but still in school (i.e., college), and those over 18 and in the work place.
There is not much leaders can do for those under 18, as they are still under the responsibility of their parents. However, I want to focus on those individuals that are part of the workforce. Those that are gainfully employed (with or without a college degree or two) and are paying taxes are the ones I want to talk about.
The question I hear is how is their citizenship status my problem?
As a leader, it becomes your problem because what are you doing to address the potential loss of the individual(s) from your organization?
- Are you encouraging them to do what it takes to become US Citizens?
- Are you giving them time off to address their specific needs to citizenship?
- Are you prepared to support any issues that may arise during this period of uncertainty?
- Should the worst case scenario occur, what is your plan to continue to support/assist the employee?
- After the worst case scenario, are you prepared to fill the vacant position(s)?
Of course, the greater conversation becomes one of us versus them. Us being the citizens and them the “illegals” the ones that are NOT doing anything to help their case (i.e., apply for citizenship). This conversation can be polarizing in any organization. However, if the conversation becomes ugly, then there are bigger problems in your organization and addressing those problems must take priority.
Why does this conversation have to take priority?
It takes priority because as history tells us time and time again, no one can fight and win a two front war without giving attention to one front at a time. In this case, addressing the internal issues of the organization helps with the buy-in of all members of that organization. A leader that is not afraid to address the difficult conversations is a leader that will have little to no resistance once he or she steps up to face the problem head on. Failing to address the problem serves to show only one thing: the leader is not a leader.
There is nothing more that differentiates a Real Leader than from your average run of the mill figurehead than when it comes time to deal with real issues. A Real Leader will step up and deal directly with the issues. A figurehead, will, at best, pass the buck and refuse to step up. Refusing to step up and deal with the issues an organization cannot grow, cannot get better.
Why The Wake-Up Call?
I am not going to get into the politics of the DACA issue any more than I already have. However, this issue is NOT magically going to go away. This issue will be around for a while and addressing what is addressable now is better than waiting for it to grow, fester, and become out of control. Wasting time and letting any situation get out of control, goes without saying but it is bad for business. A leader’s job is not to destroy business but to make business.
Of course, organizations all over the world face issues greater and lesser than the one that is currently facing the US. The need for everyone to work together and work with a REAL LEADER at the helm is the ONLY way for a leader and those that follow him to overcome the fallout from this issue and any future issues. One thing that is certain: there will be more future issues.
Thank you for your time,
David G. Guerra, M.B.A.
David Guerra is a native born US Citizen, as were his parents, their parents and half of his great-grandparents. David is a proud Texan. He is also a Veteran of the US Army where he honorably served as an Infantryman just like his two grandfathers before him.