Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: 2nd Edition by Juana Bordas - Book review

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Salsa, Soul, and Spirit

Leadership for a Multicultural Age - Second Edition

By: Juana Bordas

Published: March 26, 2012
Format: Paperback, 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1609941179
ISBN-13: 978-1609941178
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

"During my forty-five years of working in communities of color, I have listened to thousands of such life stories, and I know mine is not unique. Our stories are a collective journey, small streams forming a powerful river, a dynamic force that is restructuring our country into a multicultural society - and transforming American leadership", writes President of Mestiza Leadership International Juana Bordas is president of Mestiza Leadership International in Denver and vice president of the board of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, Juana Bordas, in her visionary and wisdom filled book Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age - Second Edition. The author describes the changes in demographics in America, the rich contributions made by people from communities of color, and the value of added diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas to the concept of leadership in the United States.

Juana Bordas understands that America is transforming into a multicultural society, with ever greater equality and opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds. The demographic changes in society reflect those of an ever more globalized economy and culture. At the same time, the author points out that increasing diversity is in complete harmony with the founding principles of the United States. Juana Bordas offers the experiences of Latin Americans, African Americans, and First Nations people as part of that dynamic of ever increasing racial and cultural diversity. The author demonstrates that the very different backgrounds and experiences of people, from communities of color, provides a valuable opportunity to enrich the leadership perspectives of organizations and government.

Juana Bordas (photo left) recognizes that Latin Americans, African Americans, and native Americans bring very important experiences and perspectives to any leadership roles. In the past, American leadership has largely stemmed from the White male point of view. The author provides an alternative vision to replace that limited perspective and worldview.

Juana Bordas offers the multicultural leadership model where many cultural perspectives, differences, unique contributions of diverse groups, and learning from many different cultures is encouraged and put into practice. In this fresh approach to leadership, people are encouraged to maintain their own cultural identity, while participating in and contributing to the larger diversity of the society.

Juana Bordas provides a vision and a framework framework for what she describes as infusing Salsa, Soul, and Spirit into the leadership model, creating a fresh and more diverse dynamic that benefits everyone. To achieve this vision, Juana Bordas proposes a new social covenant that brings the following principles of diversity into the mosaic:

* Sankofa: Learn from the past
* I to We: From individualism to collective identity
* Mi casa es su casa: A spirit of generosity
* A leader among equals: Community-conferred leadership
* Leaders as guardians of public values: A tradition of activism
* Leaders as community stewards: Working for the common good
* The seventh-generation rule: Inter-generational leadership
* All my relatives: La familia, the village, the tribe
* Gracias: Gratitude, hope, and forgiveness

For me, the power of the book is how Juana Bordas combines an insightful analysis of the transformation of American society into a multicultural milieu, with the framework to create a fresh social covenant. The author shares the timeless wisdom of people of Latin American, African American, and First Nations descent. This universal wisdom provides an opportunity to transform American leadership from the now outdated and failing White male model, to one that is multicultural, diverse, inclusive, and global.

Juana Bordas shares a vision of collective and collaborative leadership that is essential for moving forward in a globalized economy in general, and in a demographically changing America in particular. All areas of culture and the economy have benefited from, and been enriched by contributions made by people from communities of color. Leadership will also be enhanced and improved through the rich diversity that transformed American culture and society.

I highly recommend the pioneering and transformational book Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age - Second Edition by Juana Bordas, to anyone seeking a groundbreaking and much needed book on the importance of diversity for leadership theory and practice. This book offers the timeless wisdom of the Latino, African American, and Native American cultures, and transforms that vision into a new and inclusive social covenant for all people.

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