Our CEO’s Response to Racial Inequality

A Letter to FranklinCovey Associates,

I am really sickened and heartbroken by the recent killing of George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor and Amaud Arbery before him.  It is hard for me to accept that someone could treat others with such hate and indifference because of their race.  I am also concerned by the mounting violence which has accompanied these events.  This is not the world I want for my children or grandchildren.


As a company, we join with good people everywhere, and stand against racism, bias, and prejudice in all its forms, and for whatever its reasons. This includes race as well as other identifiers such as gender, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or education level. We stand against any mindset or behavior that diminishes, limits, or in any way holds back the inherent worth and potential of another human being.  In fact, we believe and teach the very opposite!  We believe that all people have unlimited worth and potential, and that everyone is a unique and whole person, and should be valued and treated as such.


Specifically, to our black associates at FranklinCovey, we recognize that you are experiencing the current events differently, and I can’t imagine the burdens and worries you must be carrying.  We want you to know that we see you and we stand united with you.


 We teach and believe that everyone has a distinct mission and an important and unique contribution to make.  Our first Foundational Belief states that people are “inherently capable, aspire to greatness, and have the power to choose.”


Our stated mission is to unleash greatness in people and organizations everywhere.  As I often share, there are two truths inherent to this mission. First, that there is greatness in everyone.  And second, that it can be systematically unleashed through the proper application of paradigms, principles, and practices. 


One of those paradigms is that we are all equals—no matter how we look, where we come from, or what we believe.  The principles we espouse and embrace include equality, fairness, potential, love, and human dignity.  Some of the practices we teach are building our own self-awareness so we can recognize our biases and get better, cultivating connections through empathy and curiosity and being courageous during difficult times. Truly, we are all about removing the barriers that diminish people’s potential and bringing down the walls that separate people.


At this important time, we reaffirm our mission to enable greatness in people and organizations everywhere, including within our own organization. We assert our belief in equality and human dignity.  Let’s continue to support one another and proactively build inclusion during these challenging times, and always. Let’s influence organizations to recognize and unleash the gifts and talents of their people.  Let’s continue to break down the walls of racism, bias, and prejudice.  And let’s strive to model the very principles and practices we teach. 


Remember that over the past decades millions have been influenced by our solutions and books, and they look to us for help and guidance.  Let’s provide it.  Let’s lead out.  Let’s embrace this challenge and, as Gandhi put it, “become the change we seek in the world.”  We belong to a great organization with a unique mission and I hope that we can continue to be a beacon of light for others. 


I have seen the difference you make in the lives of your colleagues and clients on a daily basis and it is heartwarming.  You are the kind of people with whom I want my children and grandchildren to associate.  Thank you for all you do to forward our mission.


With admiration and appreciation,


Bob Whitman