Greg Reynolds, 60%: My American Dream with a Little Help from my Friends

What’s Your American Dream Score? Take the quiz. Share your score and story.

Editor’s Note: Greg Reynolds has dedicated over 25 years supporting companies to curate and cultivate diverse talent. He serves as CEO, Hadley-Reynolds, a talent identification, retention and human capital development company. He’s also the founder and CEO of g-dii, a technology company designed to facilitate understanding and collaboration with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures in and out of the workplace.

Gaining insights about ourselves and the world around us is a passion topic that’s deeply personal for me. Taking the American Dream Score quiz is a reminder of how my life experience has not only shaped who I am but has inspired the idea behind my company, g-dii. As a gay man of color born in the very late 60’s, I grew up in an era that radically changed my experience of the American south and the world at large.

I was a man who straddled two worlds, one deeply imbedded in the African American struggle and the attempt to live in a color-blind post segregated world. This dichotomy created strange friendships that challenged the beliefs of my fore fathers and it made me more open and empathic to people of all backgrounds and experiences.

One defining and vivid childhood moment for me occurred in middle school. I sat on the school bus surrounded by all my white friends, when one of them saw another black person and said “look at that N*****.” The bus immediately, went from a Van Halen concert to a Quaker Meeting House. Everyone was stunned but all eyes fell on me and the young man that I considered to be a friend or at minimum a strong acquaintance.

Our fragile innocence had shattered and my friend turned to me and apologized saying that I wasn’t one of them and that I was different. But what did that mean? Was it that I wasn’t female, dark skinned, lower middle class, or was it that I was assimilating to get along and had lost any uniqueness? As kids do, we found a way to work it out and many of those friendships live on today.

After that incident, I began to understand that we aren’t absolutes and that we live in a world that quickly tries to bucket us with polarizing labels, which limits our ability to connect with others. I’ve spent my life constantly trying to get friends of all persuasions to acknowledge their blind spots and see others as whole and dynamic individuals. Finally, settling into a 25+ year career in executive search, my early years were truly formative to prepare me for years of people brokering.

My ability to embrace people of all different backgrounds and circumstances has helped me to launch and fund several companies and led to numerous opportunities on both a professional and personal level. Most importantly, I’ve realized that in even in dark moments and challenging times, I’m fortunate to always have my family and friends to turn to.

As I reflect on my life journey, I am happy to say that I have built friendships from childhood to nourish, support and maintain me. I wish this for everyone and whether it’s through g-dii or Your American Dream Score initiative, I hope that we can all acknowledge and encourage relatedness. If this program can show people to see more clearly that it takes a village then we are moving in the right direction towards building a better society. And for those who are enlightened to gain deeper insights on becoming the best versions of themselves, I invite you to take our g-dii assessment test to determine what your personal blind spots are and how to build more supportive relationships.



Your American Dream Score is an initiative of Moving Up, an online platform designed to create a new conversation about what it takes to get ahead in America.  Both were created by Bob McKinnon, author and founder of GALEWiLL, an organization that designs social change programs. Digital design for the tool was done by Sol Design.

Your American Dream Score asks respondents to answer 13 questions about their life. Each question represents a factor that research shows correlates to social mobility and/or happiness in life. Similarly, all of the options within each question are also based on specific research related to mobility or positive life outcomes.  Once completed they receive a composite score and a list of factors working for and against them.  The higher your score, the more you had to overcome.  The lower the score, the more you had working in your favor. People are also given a link to a song that symbolizes their journey (i.e. gratitude, struggle, pride). With score in hand, people are then encouraged to take an action —  including sharing it with others, thanking those that helped them get ahead, diving deeper into each factor and connecting them with organizations that help people move up in life.

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