Despite a palpable sense of positive change regarding socio-political issues within the Hispanic community, Center for Hispanic Leadership founder Glenn Llopis told VOXXI one area still lacking is Latino leadership.
“I don’t think we have as much momentum as people think we do,” Llopis said. “The issue is we have great numbers – 55 million Hispanics with a combined purchasing power of $1.5 trillion by 2015 and small business growth driving revenues that exceed $465 billion – but today influencers aren’t valuing those numbers enough because they’re not making the right and sufficient amount of investment within the community.”
In order to change the Latino leadership conversation with the business community, Llopis said Hispanics must begin to invest in themselves while providing greater engagement from corporations.
“We represent the leaders of the future, the business owners, and we also represent the consumers that will change the way brands go to market, the way products are created in the next generation of innovation efforts,” Llopis said.
These are just a few of the themes Llopis talked about as the keynote speaker for The College Leadership Tour, which this school year brought leadership and professional development tools, tactics and strategies to students at six college campuses across the country.
Specifically, Llopis said the Center for Hispanic Leadership efforts reveal Latino students are eager to embrace their cultural values as a means to unleash their full potential in the workplace, yet they are not moving up the corporate ladder and into leadership roles at a fast enough rate.
Latino leadership success stories
Llopis said the Center for Hispanic Leadership workshops have greatly impacted the Hispanic community:
• More than 5,000 Hispanic professionals have been trained across the United States
• 30 percent of participants are promoted within a year
• Hispanic employee workplace engagement increased by more than 70 percent
• Hispanic employee self-confidence/trust increased by more than 83 percent
• Hispanic employee retention rates increased by 69 percent
How to promote Latino leadership
Llopis said it’s a problem that 85 percent of Latinos don’t translate hard work into great leadership. Yet, in his opinion, being a hard worker is another way of showing great leadership.
In order to reverse this course, the Center for Hispanic Leadership has six characteristics that help Latinos reach for success in work and life:
• Keep an immigrant perspective and see opportunity in everything.
• Have the ability to expect the unexpected. Anticipate crisis and manage change before circumstances force your hand.
• Unleash your passion, which isn’t just emotional. It’s a behavior that allows you to explore and become potent pioneers.
• There is an entrepreneurial spirit for Hispanics where innovation becomes second nature. In America, you have a choice to be an entrepreneur; however, in developing countries you must be one just to survive. Hispanics understand that notion of survival and renewal and reinvention better than anyone.
• Work with a generous purpose. The spirit of giving is important in having each other’s backs and recognizing that we must have everyone’s best interest at heart.
• Embrace a cultural promise that success comes to those who are surrounded by people who want their success to continue. When you treat people like family that feeling is reciprocated and opportunities continue to arrive. That’s key for Latino leadership.
“Those are characteristics of really the 21st century leader, and for Hispanics, those are characteristics that come most naturally to us,” Llopis said. “We’ve learned that when people embrace these characteristics that they have greater self trust and greater self awareness not only for themselves but others. So they have a better sense of how other people are experiencing them and how to better control the experience other people have with them.”