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KeeleyOne Spotlight: John Regan

KeeleyOne is focused on creating an atmosphere that promotes Diversity & Inclusion. John Regan, member of the KeeleyOne team and Vice President of Learning & Professional Development, has a passion for developing people and helping them reach their full potential. He knew that KeeleyOne would be a way that he could do this while educating others and bringing change to Keeley Companies.

John’s passion for Diversity & Inclusion sparked back when he was a counselor at a youth camp that worked with children from diverse backgrounds – race, ethnicity, gender identity, etc. This passion has carried him throughout his life and career and has directly influenced his current position as he builds KeeleyU. He is grateful to be involved in KeeleyOne, both personally and professionally, because education plays such a large part in understanding each other’s similarities and differences, ensuring long-term change and success.

“I believe that Diversity & Inclusion is something that has to be defined holistically. It is bigger than any of the categories people might think of when Diversity & Inclusion comes to mind. You need all types of people within a company and that helps us become more successful and reach our full potential. If we were all the same, it would hinder our success. When you truly feel that you belong, you are more productive, and it creates a happier work environment.”

Starting a culture that focuses on Diversity & Inclusion can be an intimidating feat. It is an intentional effort and takes a lot of work, which can be hard for some people. Being a part of this team meant that John, and everyone else, was going to be working with various people and they had to realized that they would be interacting with them in a way they might not work together naturally. This has been a huge lesson for everyone and is an ongoing, continuous improvement for all involved. While many lessons have been learned throughout this process, John says that the biggest challenge has been cognitive bias.

“We all approach life though a lens that has been shaped by our past. While I may see things one way, you might see them another way. We have to realize that it’s not going to be a switch where everyone is going to be happy. We have to understand that it’s going to take time to build trust amongst people that have different perspectives.”

Outside of INCLUDE Sessions, VOICE Chats, and educational content on the LMS, the biggest way Keeley’ns can get involved with Diversity & Inclusion is to just start talking to people with an eagerness to learn more about them. Everyone has a voice and when we listen to each other, it makes us stronger. KeeleyOne gives our Keeley’ns structure, but you must have the spirit of KeeleyOne inside of you and be willing to talk to people and ask questions in order to better understand them and their perspectives. These conversations are what make John so excited for the future of KeeleyOne. We are approaching this as a true cultural pillar and even though he knows they won’t be able to change everyone’s mind, the open discussion encouraged by KeeleyOne will allow everyone to get to know others on a deeper level and drive the necessary change. It’s going to be challenging to step out of your comfort zone, but John has some advice as we embark on this journey together.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Success is measured one thought at a time. We’ve got to look at the journey as success rather than a final destination being the measure of success we aspire towards.”

Outside of KeeleyOne’s initiatives, there are plenty more ways to get involved with Diversity & Inclusion while educating yourself. John recommends the following books:

  1. StrengthsFinders by Tom Rath

  2. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

  3. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo


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