Legacies of Enslavement and Race: Derailers


As this project’s steering committee laid the groundwork for this assessment tool, they kept returning to a series of foundational principles that would create a framework for understanding the rubric’s content. The Four Truths, non-negotiables, and detailers all play a role in grounding the intentions of the assessment tool.

A derailer is a behavior or actions that limits our effectiveness, prohibits growth/change, and stymies success.


Derailers can be a weakness or overused strength that requires improvement to realize one’s potential. A true derailer or “flaw” is caused by one’s lack of insight or inability to recognize it.  A derailer is often called the “elephant in the room”; it’s there but no one seems comfortable addressing the issue.

Derailers can be recognized by the following criteria:

  • Has the potential to limit our progress and achievement of goals.
  • Can often be an underuse or overuse behavior.
  • Can be an overuse of strength.
  • Can be career limiting.
  • Cannot be compensated for by multiple strengths
  • When others focus on and emphasize our weaknesses.

Learn more using the examples in this Word document. 

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