Chanel is Not Just a Clothing Brand; it is a Mindset!
A quote I often turn to when attempting to act as a fair-minded citizen and leader is “I see both sides like Chanel,” by Frank Ocean. Seeing both sides explains the importance in understanding all sides, and, more, having the intellectual ability to separate the two sides and value each side’s importance–although one may not align with your values. Chanel’s famous design, two C’s, show that both C’s, both sides, are integral in understanding something, completely. That is what I think of when I think of being fair-minded. The ability to see and understand the other side of an argument has allowed me to endure an exponential growth in my intellectual fair-mindedness: the ability to understand that just because ideas are different, does not mean that one has to be wrong. Many people, including myself, are always quick to jump to the conclusion that, ‘I am right!’ regardless of the true answer. Developing the trait of intellectual fair-mindedness has given me the ability to ignore my privileges and bias, and hence be able to understand and advocate for the other sides of the story. In a world so divided, this issue has never been more important.
This past year, I was fortunate to be able to develop intellectual fair-mindedness through a big step in my extracurricular career. I was privileged to lead four service boards and run my own business. Each group offers its own unique mission, organizational structure, and types of people. However, one thing remains constant: that being fair-minded and understanding is crucial in uniting a team. I have sat in meetings where one member of my leadership team pushes expansion–that we need to expand our ground in order to become successful. However, to my other side, my other partner debates for focusing on and improving our small radius, first. I wanted both partners to civilly debate and explain their points, juggling the pros and cons between the two. At the end, I allowed for my whole group to decide upon a decision, regardless of what I originally valued. To me, that is what being fair-minded is: valuing all people’s voices, and encouraging them to be heard, understood, and represented, regardless of position or experience.
A common misconception I have endured is that leadership and power creates this ‘Me vs. You’ conflict; that I, the leader, am on a higher level than you and that you are deprived of expressing your opinion because of your status. This development creates an influence of privilege, that, ultimately, creates tension amongst the team. To avoid this, I learned that I must seek a fair-minded approach and create this ‘we’ mindset, rather than the divisive one, aforementioned. I have learned to value everyone’s opinion equally, regardless of their position or experience within our group. As I am exposed to more and more people with variant personalities, it is integral to value everyone and their mindsets equally to reach our highest potential.
Additionally, in leadership roles, I have learned to view all scenarios from a multiple of positions, equally valuing each one’s importance. Doing this requires the intellectual ability to follow values strongly and value others’ opinions as much, if not more, than your own. In the end, these decisions may even be contingent upon ignoring your own interests.
Upon reflecting, I did not learn to solely see and understand both sides of the story, both sides of Chanel; more so, I learned the values and traits necessary for being an advocate of change, understanding, and the well-being of our nation. And, at the end of the day, that is my goal.
*Disclaimer: This post is by Ethan Rosen, and is not an official statement of LinkedIn. The views expressed by this article are mine, and are not representative of anyone or anything else.
Link to original publication: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chanel-just-clothing-brand-mindset-ethan-rosen/