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Take a Stand Like Elon Musk in Your Workplace

In the current political climate, corporate leaders are standing up for what they believe in–and we can all learn from them.

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BY Melissa Lamson - 11 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Elon Musk. Richard Branson. Roger Goodell. Kobe Bryant. Mark Cuban. Mark Zuckerberg.

The list goes on and on.

No matter the politics, many people in the business (and sports) world are dismayed by the (mis)behavior of President Donald Trump.

His lack of sensitivity, empathy, professionalism, emotional intelligence, politeness--you name it--leave many to believe his actions are anything but presidential.

For that reason, corporate leaders are stepping up and taking a stand for issues they believe in like free trade, climate change, immigration, healthcare, and free speech, to name a few.

Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, quit the president's advisory boards after Trump left the Paris climate accord, and tech mogul Mark Cuban spoke out about Trump's criticism of NFL players taking a knee, for example.

These prominent leaders can serve as inspiration to you, no matter your position in the corporate latter, in a time when many feel powerless and hopeless. We can learn from them how to be outspoken and make a difference in our world today.

Here are 5 ways we can do this:

Take a stand.

If you personally believe in something, then share it with your team--even if they might not agree with you. They will find it inspiring and it may be a catalyst for them to act for a cause they're passionate about, too.

Also, people like to know that a leader has a point of view and will take a stand. Being with a flip flopper is unsettling. Working under someone with conviction can give a sense of security and clarity.

Talk with your team.

Collectively, your team may be passionate about a cause and want to act. Brainstorm ways your organization can help whether it be writing letters, donating money, or volunteering. Then formulate a plan and get moving.

The shared experience may even strengthen the bond of your team.

Use your clout.

With your organization's approval, extend your leadership role into the community. Use your notoriety and speak at community organizations, schools, and institutions to bring attention to important issues.

Join forces.

Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, and Ariana Grande joined together to host a Concert for Charlottesville following the deadly white supremacist riot in the Virginia town last August.

You can do something similar--get together with other business leaders to amplify your impact. This lends itself to more hands, heads, and hearts--and more attention to what's important to you.

Get involved with other events.

You don't need to create your own event--other groups are already acting and would welcome your support. So, get involved and tell your team what you're doing. They may want to tagalong, too.

Some national groups like the ACLU, Anti-defamation League, Human Rights Watch, and Greenpeace, may have chapters in your area. You can find a list here.

And to support your efforts in making a difference, you can find your local representatives here.

Instead of feeling dismayed and hopeless, take action and stand up - peacefully and compassionately - for what you believe in. If we all do that a little more lately, we'll help create a better world for all of us.