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Black Faces in High Places: 10 Strategic Actions for Black Professionals to Reach the Top and Stay There

Black Faces in High Places: 10 Strategic Actions for Black Professionals to Reach the Top and Stay There

by Randal D. Pinkett, Jeffrey A. Robinson


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A timely resource for Black professionals on how to rise to the top of their organizations or industries and, just as importantly, to stay there.

Black Faces in High Places is the essential guide for Black professionals who are moving up through their organizations or industries but need a roadmap for how to get to the top and stay there. It highlights the experiences of other Black faces in high places who were able to navigate various crossroads, reach the top, and stay there, including insights from President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Cathy Hughes, Bob Johnson, Ursula Burns, David Steward, Angela Glover Blackwell, Ken Chenault, Senator Cory Booker, Geoffrey Canada, and others. This groundbreaking book:

  • Provides a lens into the careers of other prominent figures, across several industries and sectors.
  • Identifies the 10 strategic actions successful Black leaders and executives must take.
  • Empowers readers with models and steps to follow these 10 strategic actions on their own journeys to becoming a prominent leader.
  • Outlines the unique challenges that come with a leadership role and how to overcome them.
  • Walks readers through the changes in mindset, skillset, and toolset required to travel along the success path while helping others at every step along the way.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400228973
Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
Publication date: 02/08/2022
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 119,819
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author, scholar, and leading voice for his generation in business, technology, diversity, and inclusion. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of his fifth venture, BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar research, training, consulting, technology, and data analytics firm headquartered in Newark, NJ. BCT’s mission is to provide insights about diverse people that lead to equity. The company has been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms and has been named to the Black Enterprise BE 100 list of the nation’s largest African American-owned businesses.

Jeffrey A. Robinson, Ph.D. is an award-winning business school professor, international speaker and entrepreneur.

Table of Contents

Foreword Joy Reid ix

Introduction 1

The Crossroads for Black Faces in High Places 6

The Rise and Fall of Black Faces in High Places 10

Why We Wrote Black Faces in High Places 13

The 10 Strategic Actions to Reach the Top and Stay There 15

The Strategic Action Plan: Mindsets, Skill Sets, and Tool Sets 18

Level I Independent Action 21

The Obama Identity 22

The Obama Presidency 24

The Obama Mindset, Skill Set, and Tool Set 24

Your Mindset, Skill Set, and Tool Set at Level I: Independent Action 26

Strategic Action 1 Exercise Self-Determination 31

The Secret to Life: Self-Determination 32

Identity: Who Are You? 33

Purpose: Where Are You Going? Why Do You Exist? 36

Independent Action Steps for Exercising Self-Determination 38

Strategic Action 2 Value Exploration 49

Comfort Zone to Growth Zone 50

The Three Categories of Experience and Exposure 51

Independent Action Steps to Value Exploration 57

Strategic Action 3 Develop Self-Mastery and Find Meaning 63

From Excellence to Ikigai 64

Independent Action Steps to Develop Self-Mastery 78

Independent Action Steps to Find Meaning 84

Level II Interdependent Action 91

The Benefits of Personal Diversity 92

Global Citizen Trends 94

Your Mindset, Skill Set, and Tool Set at Level II: Interdependent Action 97

Strategic Action 4 Network and Build Power 99

Understanding the Social Capital of 'Networks and Power 100

Independent Action Steps for Networking and Relationship Building 108

Interdependent Action Steps for Networking and Relationship Building 111

The Social Capital Basis of Power 115

Interdependent Action Steps for Using Power and Influence 124

Strategic Action 5 Maximize Mentoring 128

Mentors and Proteges 129

Independent Action Steps for Protégés 137

Interdependent Action Steps for Protégés 138

Independent Action Steps for Mentors 143

Interdependent Action Steps for Mentors 145

Interdependent Actions Steps for Mentors and Protégés 146

Strategic Action 6 Leverage Our Might 149

Two Moments, Two Movements 150

Individualism: "I Think; Therefore I Am" 152

Collectivism: "I Am Because We Are" 156

Examples of Leveraging Our Might 157

Independent Action Steps to Leverage Our Might 162

Interdependent Action Steps to Leverage Our Might 164

Level III Collaborative Action 177

The Intrapreneurial and Entrepreneurial Mindsets 177

A Two-Pronged Approach for Collaborative Action 182

Strategic Action 7 Think and Act Like an Intrapreneur 183

The Five Principles of Intrapreneurship: Your Inside V.O.I.C.E. 185

Becoming a Black Intrapreneur 189

Independent and Interdependent Action Steps for Intrapreneurship 190

Becoming a Black Social Intrapreneur 197

Collaborative Action Steps for Social Intrapreneurship 199

Strategic Action 8 Think and Act Like an Entrepreneur 213

Lessons Learned from the Most Successful Black-Owned Businesses 216

Lessons Learned from the Fastest Growing and Most Successful Businesses 216

The Five Principles of Entrepreneurship: Your Outside V.O.I.C.E. 217

Independent and Interdependent Action Steps for Launching Businesses and Social Ventures 222

Collaborative Action Steps for Growing Businesses and Social Enterprises 223

Collaborative Action Steps for Growing Business Enterprises 232

Collaborative Action Steps for Growing Social Enterprises 239

From Entrepreneurship to Intrapreneurship 243

Institution Building 244

Level IV Amplified Action 245

From Independent Action to Amplified Action 245

Changing the Game 252

Strategic Action 9 Transform Systems 255

The Continuum of Strategic Partnerships 256

Collaborative Action Steps to Find Synergy 272

Amplified Action Steps to Reach Scale 278

Transforming Systems and Leaving a Legacy 289

Strategic Action 10 Seek Significance 291

Seeking Significance: Strategic Giving and Philanthropy 293

Key Tools: Time, Talent, Treasure, and Touch 298

Epilogue: Where Do We Go from Here? 320

Acknowledgments 323

Notes 325

Index 329

About the Authors 339

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