A recent study from the University of Queensland sought to find out whether a collective or individualistic leadership style was more effective. Based on self-reports of Royal Marines recruits, the researchers determined which recruits saw themselves as natural leaders and wanted things done their way, and which saw themselves as followers and were more concerned with just getting things done. The researchers then asked the recruits and their commanders to vote for who showed the most leadership ability. In line with the researchers’ hypothesis that “people will be more effective leaders when…[they] advance the interests of the group rather than own personal interests,” the votes indicated that it was the “followers” and not the self-declared “natural leaders” who were the most effective. But the results also showed that the commanders thought the “natural leaders” had more leadership potential, indicating that those who actually have to work with the leaders in question have a different perception of effective leadership than those observing from the outside. Those on the outside may rely on more “generic ideas of what a leader should look like.”
What makes Jon M. Chu’s latest film, “Crazy Rich Asians,” such a groundbreaking success doesn’t just come down to diversity in Hollywood—though that, too, is cause for celebration, seeing as it’s “the only studio feature film in 25 years to feature an all-Asian cast.” It’s also the meticulous effort and attention to detail put into the movie production that makes it so notable. Chu pursued the project after the hashtag #WhiteWashedOut began trending on Twitter as a way of pointing out the lack of Asian representation in mainstream film and TV. Chu then worked with Warner Bros. to ensure that it was the cast—and not studio executives—who would decide how they were represented, in collaboration with the script writers. With the goal of cultural authenticity and accuracy in mind, Chu explains that, “For the first time, these [Asian] actors weren’t being rushed through makeup and thrown into a scene. They were the stars, and we took the time and effort to light them, dress them, and talk about each of the scenes…every member of the cast and crew was encouraged to share their experiences.” Chu says that moving forward, he hopes that “actors of color will be emboldened to openly communicate on sets about the cultural accuracy of their characters.”
The Unicode Consortium—the organization that decides which emojis are featured on iPhones and Androids worldwide—recently released its “draft candidates” for emojis to be added in 2019, with a particular focus on diversity. Examples of possible emojis that would widen representation in modern communication include a person who is hard of hearing, a sari, a couple different kinds of service dogs, wheelchairs (both manual and motorized), a Hindu temple, and 55 new gender and skin tone combinations for the emoji of the couple standing and holding hands. This list of “emoji hopefuls” will go through final selection in September, when the Unicode Technical Committee meets and approves the ones that will go on to be included in Unicode 12, the soon-to-be newest version of the Unicode Standard.