by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
For a number of years, new Black leadership and media pundits such as radio talk show host Warren Ballentine has emerged preaching the gospel of economic self-reliance; a “let’s do it ourselves” philosophy of economic self-empowerment that requires us to do business with each other to uplift the race.
Chicago businesswoman Maggie Anderson decided to put the philosophy into action several years ago. In the process she and her family made history and dominated national media headlines by applying self-help economics in the Black community.
The Anderson family lived exclusively off Black business and talent and bought only Black made products for an entire year. It was an experiment the Andersons called the Empowerment Experiment (EE) and resulted in a landmark study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
Since the completion of the experiment, Anderson has become the voice of American consumers of all backgrounds who want to make sure their buying power positively impacts struggling minority communities.
Anderson, the author of “Our Black Year,” which chronicled their “Buy Black” journey, was recently the keynote speaker for the 53rd annual Milwaukee Urban League’s Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon held at the Pfister Hotel.
During her address before the community’s and city’s business leaders, heads of community based organizations and civil rights activists, Anderson preached her gospel of economic self-reliance, discussing the Empowerment Experiment and what it was like to live by the pledge to support Black owned businesses, talent and products.
Anderson said the death of Black businesses and consumer support was integration, which she called the perfect storm that ended Black people doing business with each other.
Noting White businesses saw that money was plentiful within our community began to cater to Black consumers using advertising with Black faces, Anderson said we became brand loyal consumers who ignored products made by Black companies.
Also contributing to the demise of Black businesses and Black on Black consumerism was the aggressive recruitment (and Black pursuit of) talented Black people by white corporations.
“Getting a job with a big white company was the dream,” Anderson said during a recent interview with Black media after her address.
“Our parents instilled in us the message of working for someone else…white,” she continued. Anderson said Blacks are now seen as consumers, not business owners.
Plus, Anderson noted the Civil Rights Movement and its leadership made the mistake of focusing solely on civil rights and ignored “silver rights”—economic development of our own community and people.
The “Black flight” to the suburbs and the subsequent abandonment of Black communities created a economic vacuum that was filled by other ethnic groups: Latinos, Asians, Indians, Pakistanis and Arabs.
Instead of doing the Empowerment Experiment for a year, Anderson suggested doing it for a week for no other reason than to raise your consciousness.
Anderson said what impedes Black people from utilizing Black owned businesses is the mentality that “only white ice gets cold; we distrust Black businesses.
Black businesses are seen as inferior by Black people.
While Anderson did encounter some bad Black businesses, her first encounter doing the experiment was awful, most of her experiences were positive.
“If you do business with three Black businesses and two are bad, don’t say, ‘all Black businesses are bad.’ You don’t say that about White businesses. Such an attitude is detrimental for good Black businesses.
Anderson suggests Black consumers keep going to good, quality Black businesses in order to break down the negative stereotype Black businesses are burdened with.
She also suggests aspiring Black business people focus on newer markets and industries not stereotypically associated with the community like low-end, hold-in-the-wall soul food joints, candy and liquor stores, barber and beauty shops.
Such businesses—where the owner has little to no business training and no investors—are too common and offer substandard services that reflect the attitude it has towards a clientele with low self-esteem and poor.
State Senator Lena Taylor expressed disappointment she was not reappointed to the Legislative Joint Finance Committee by the Senate Democratic leadership.
But the disappointment, she said, was not for herself. She said, in a statement, the African American and other minority communities are the poorer because they do not have any representation on what is the most important and powerful committee in the legislature, deciding almost every important decision affecting the whole state.
“Long have Senate Democrats recognized the crucial needs of minorities and the overwhelming political support they have received from those communities,” said Taylor, who served on the committee for eight years.
The 4th District senator, who represents a majority African American district, noted since 1983, Senate Democrats have maintained the presence of an African American legislator on that committee.
“My pledge is to continue to represent the hard working men and women of my district that are still waiting on the promises that equality should bring them–an education that actually educates, a right to vote that is not impeded, a health care system that heals, and a government which favors the needs of the least of these among us.”
The Edith Norman Finlayson Award for Volunteerism to Youth was awarded to community youth advocate Mavis McCallum (pictured above, second from left). She was presented the award by the Milwaukee Chapter of the Links, Inc. during its recent celebration of the organization’s 50 years of providing leadership, excellence and service to the community.The event was held at
McCallum’s volunteer work on behalf of Milwaukee’s youth is unparalleled. She is the past board chair of New Concepts Self Development Center, former board president of the Wisconsin Juvenile Detention Association, founder and past president of the Milwaukee Youth Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women, and a board member of the National Youth Law Enforcement Association.
Her philosophy is: “When you help a child today, you write the history of tomorrow.”
Professionally, she is the retired Deputy Superintendent of the Milwaukee County Detention Center (first African American female).
McCallum continues to be a community activist and resource for those involved with the juvenile judicial system. She has been married to Tom McCallum for 44 years. They have one son Garret.
During the ceremony, McCallum was presented with a monetary award for a community group of her choice that was presented by Links Chapter President JoAnne Williamson, UWM Vice-Chancellor and U.N. Delegate Dr. Joan Prince, Dr. William Finlayson.
A non-profit international women’s civic organization, are, the Milwaukee Chapter of The Links focuses on services to youth, the arts, national trends, international trends, and Health. Over the past fifty years, The Milwaukee (WI) Chapter of The Links Incorporated has been of service in the Community.
The chapter has gifted over $300,000 in educational scholarships, provided ACT/SAT prep courses for high school students, sent laptops in partnership with Jamaica and Africa for students and literacy, and adopted two Milwaukee elementary schools concentrating on social, academic, and cultural programming. It is active in community voter registration initiatives.
Learn some of the simple dos and don’ts of launching your own business
by Alan Hughes
Entrepreneurs are known to have many qualities—persistence, leadership skills, and a never-say-die attitude, to name a few—all necessary assets to putting them on the road to success. But even with those skills, some of the most successful entrepreneurs have made their share of mistakes, sometimes spectacularly. Robert Jordan, author of How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America (RedFlash Press; $24.95), helps us understand that what it takes to successfully launch and grow a business is oftentimes learning what notto do.
1. Being afraid to take the leap.
It’s one thing to dip your toe in the water and operate a business as a side venture, but at some point you will have to decide whether to jump in with both feet. And often, it isn’t until fear is set aside that the venture works.
2. Hiring the wrong people.
Building scalable, growth companies is never a solo affair. “Even the solo founders essentially created partners and management teams who were great,” says Jordan.
3. Not wanting to give up control.
There are two types of control: equity and operational. You have entrepreneurs who believe so passionately in what they’re doing that it’s hard for them to give up hands-on control, says Jordan. “But there comes a point when you have to let people who are better than you at certain things do those things.”
4. Becoming complacent.
Jordan says some believe that once they achieve a degree of success, they’ve reached a point of safety. But the Great Recession proved that there is no such thing as safe. “You have to keep innovating.”
5. Failing to see new opportunities.
Most of the entrepreneurs Jordan highlights in his book were doing things a lot of people could have or should have seen but simply overlooked. “It wasn’t so much that the intellectual property reached a degree that there would be no competition,” he says, “but they just looked at things in a different way.”
Learn more about the mistakes you can avoid and the lessons to keep in mind as an entreprenuer by attending Black Enterprise’s annual Entrepreneurs Conference, taking place May 22-25, 2011 in Atlanta Georgia. Visit blackenterprise.com/ec for more details. As an incentive BE is offering you a discount on early registration: Just enter code BEDG295 and receive $200 off.
Next event November 19; partnership focuses on matching students with colleges, developing leadership
Last month, on October 8th and 15th, students from 11 different MPS high schools converged at the MPS TEAM UP College Access Centers to prepare themselves for peer community leadership roles in the District’s high schools. These Get Motivated! Get Ready! events are co-sponsored by the MPS TEAM UP College Access Centers and Diversity Scholars, a non-profit organization whose mission is to prepare first-generation, low-income, and minority students for college and to match those students with the two- and four-year post-secondary institutions that best fit their college and career interests.
The next Diversity Scholars Night is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on November 19th at the College Access Center-North, 2730 W. Fond du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee 53210. Student athletes will attend this session to learn about college eligibility requirements and prepare for the college application process.
Diversity Scholars is partnering with MPS to support all of the District’s college readiness initiatives. The Diversity Scholars program mobilizes student leadership by developing peer communities in the high schools. It offers students the opportunity to develop online profiles, research postsecondary options, and communicate with students using www.collegeboundeprofiles.com <http://www.collegeboundeprofiles.com>.
At the Get Motivated! Get Ready! events in October, Diversity Scholars National Organizer Chris Clarke worked alongside the centers’ site coordinators to guide students through web-based tools for creating and sending their online profiles to the colleges and universities that matched their interests. Student also completed web-based career exploration activities to identify the connections between their career ambitions and educational plans. For both sessions all the available seats at the centers were filled.
“We’re extremely pleased to be working with Diversity Scholars,” said Kate Cunningham, site coordinator at the MPS TEAM UP College Access Center-South. “Our collaborative training was very successful—the students were engaged and enthusiastic about using and sharing with their peers the online tools they learned how to navigate. I can see that this partnership means that we are not only helping individual students to get to college, we are mobilizing teams of student leaders who will take what they are learning and use it to assist and inspire their peers to reach for a better future through education.”
Chris Clarke believes the peer community organizing strategy is successful because the students are being challenged to be leaders. “We are asking these students to show their skills and capabilities to their schools, their teachers, and their community. When they are given the right tools and the right opportunities to focus on college, they are motivated to step up, and they are ready to help others along the way,” said Clarke.
Local Peer Community Organizers who work in the high schools during regular school hours were also on hand at the events, to make sure students understood the support they would have when they brought what they were learning back to their schools. The Peer Community Organizers also work as youth advisors through the Running Rebels Community Organization’s Violence Free Zone programs at the high schools. They were recruited to work with Diversity Scholars during pilot Get Motivated! Get Ready! sessions at schools last spring. The Peer Community Organizers are now committed to helping with all of the District’s TEAM UP: College Success Starts Now initiatives.
“This is a community effort in the true sense of the word,” said Cunningham.
Student Leader Tykel Spears, a junior at Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School, agreed. He attended both sessions at the centers, first to learn how to use the tools, and then to work with a group of students from Pulaski High School, James Madison Academic Campus, and Washington High School of Information Technology. “When I explain how the websites work, the other students and my teachers are interested and want to know the steps to get involved. I am working with my peers at the same time I am helping myself – two birds knocked out with one stone.”
During the sessions Spears completed an online profile that allowed him to explore and communicate with colleges that offered programs in his two main areas of interest: Fire Science and Accounting. He plans to qualify as a firefighter after he graduates and continue on to pursue a professional career as a tax accountant. “The best thing is I can help my community and can get my name out there right now, by getting other students going and sending out my profile.”
The Diversity Scholars program is available to all first-generation, low-income and/or minority students in Milwaukee. The MPS TEAM UP College Access Centers are open Monday-Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The College Access Center-North is located at 2730 W. Fond du Lac Avenue. The College Access Center-South is located at 3333 South 27th Street.
Leadership and management are often misunderstood as one in the same. They are not! Certainly a good leaders should be able to manage and visa-versa. But, it is important to understand the difference. Both are important to the success of an organization.
The key difference between the two is that management is about processes and leadership is about people. You manage your accounts payables but you lead your accounts payable administrator. Understanding this is the key to motivating, coaching and growing your people to the very best of their ability.
This happens in an organization for many different reasons. Most often it is because we promote people for all of the wrong reasons. The most common ones are length of service, the next manager is the one who has worked there the longest, and the other is that they are good at the task at hand. For example they have had the best sales record so they become the sales manager; they have had the least mistakes in accounting so they become the accounting manager etc.
Unfortunately, we learn management skills as opposed to leadership skills very early on. Our parents tell us what to do as opposed to teaching us to think of the answer to questions on our own. This is one among several reasons why management as opposed to leadership is how we typically run an organization.
Management is about effecting positive change in the organization by recognizing process problems, correcting those process problems and teaching others how to implement the new processes.
The top 4 most important aspects of leadership are;
1) Recruiting. The ability to attract and retain the best is imperative in success of an organization. Recruitment should be an ongoing process and should never wait for a need. There is always a need for someone better then your best person isn’t there?
2) Coaching. Coaching is always teaching, rarely telling. Teaching is helping subordinates self realize the answer on their own and not always blurting out the answer for them. The old adage, “Give someone a fish, they eat for a day, teach them how to fish, they eat for a lifetime”. There is a real pride in coming up with answers on their own which is what we all strive for in an employee.
3) Accountability. Creating a clear and detailed written plan that involves a 30-60-90 day written goal that not only involves revenue goals but behavior goals as well. Behavior goals are the action steps that are taken to prospect daily, weekly and monthly.
4) Motivating. Understanding what motivates each individual is what will elevate
them to the next level. Motivation is different for each individual and a true leader
knows how to unlock it.
So are you a good leader or just a manager? How about your sales manager? Better ask the questions. You never know what you might learn.
Growing an organizations people to be the best that they can be, will help in reaching your failure but not failing is worlds different then succeeding. To succeed, leadership needs to be ever-present.
Serious Issue Your sales organization is having difficulty with differentiating management and leadership. Because your organizations management team is not leading properly your people are either taking it upon themselves to make decisions that may or may not be correct or possibly worse, waiting to make decisions until management tells them what to do. Even though often times they know the correct answer they will not give it because they have been conditioned to ask first.
The bigger issue here is the fact that empowerment and self-reliance is not being taught therefore not only are they not growing and being groomed to potentially move up in the organization or be the best that they can be in their own position, they are also not as motivated as they could be.
What are the potential outcomes here? First of all by not allowing your people to have some of their own autonomy in making decisions they tend to feel less motivated and often feel that they are there to fulfill someone elses’ goals and not their own. The effect of this is not having a feeling of ownership with their particular job which decreases productivity and more importantly pride. Pride is important to have in any position an employee holds.
As humans we have a strong need to feel that we have worked for something and truly earned it. This is true in all aspects of our lives. Why is it that our favorite car we ever had was usually the first one we bought on our own. (cont)…..
Cause for Concern Your organization seems to have difficulty with differentiating leadership and management. Because your organizations management team may not be leading properly your people are either taking it upon themselves that may or may not be correct, or what often can be worse it waiting to make decisions until management lets them know what to do. Even though often times they know the right answer, they won’t take it upon themselves to be thinkers because we have conditioned them to ask.
One of the biggest issues here is the fact that empowerment and self-reliance is not being taught, therefore, not only are they potentially not growing as sales people they are not being groomed for upward movement in your organization.
Seems under control Your organization seems to have a good handle on the difference between management and leadership. Because your management team seems to be more self-reliant. One of the most important responsibilities management has is to grow leaders. Empowerment is a skill that is taught through an organization and will prove valuable in the length of the organization cycle. Continue with this type of leadership.
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the best selling author of “To Sell is Not to Sell”. Greta does corporate training for fortune 1000 companies and she has an on-line training course for entrepreneurs. For more tips go to: HYPERLINK “http://www.schulzbusiness.com” www.schulzbusiness.com.
National WIC Association and Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (MHSI) recently presented Congresswoman Gwen Moore with the 2012 Leadership Award at the MLK- Heritage Health Center location at 2555 N. MLK Drive. Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a national, mission-driven preventive public health nutrition program serving nearly 9 million mothers and young children, benefiting local communities and the nation. “The primary objective of this award is, to honor one of our leaders who has been and continues to be a champion for WIC during these uncertain times to help keep the program funded, so that it can continue to effectively improve the nutrition and overall health of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and their young children in communities like ours across the nation,” according to Angie Wilks-Tate, WIC Project Director at MHSI.
MHSI is a Federally Qualified Health Center partnering with WIC to prevent children’s health problems and improving their health, growth and development. The mission of MHSI is to provide accessible, quality primary and related health care services to Milwaukee residents, with the continuing emphasis on medically-underserved families and individuals. MHSI operates the Martin Luther King, Jr. Heritage Health Center at 2555 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Isaac Coggs Heritage Health Center at 8200 W. Silver Spring Drive and the MHS Convenient Care Clinic located in the Midtown Piggly Wiggly at 4061 N. 54th St.
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Every year, the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. The program provides scholars with personal and professional development through our leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.
Administered by the United Negro College Fund, the program was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 1999, it has funded the education of more than 16,000 students, awarding them more than $614 million dollars to pay for tuition, fees, books and housing.
The program aims to reduce financial barriers for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise who have significant financial need; increase the representation of these target groups in the disciplines of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and the sciences, where these groups are severely underrepresented; develop a diversified cadre of future leaders for America by facilitating successful completion of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees; and provide seamless support from undergraduate through doctoral programs, for students selected as Gates Millennium Scholars entering target disciplines
Individuals selected as Gates Scholars will receive funds in an amount to be determined based on their financial need. The amount determined will be based on the cost of tuition, fees, books and living expenses for the 2013-2014 academic year, as well as the availability of grants and other scholarships reported on the financial aid award letter. The average scholarship award in the 2000-2010 academic years was $11,000 per student.
The application process is a three-part effort: 1) a Student Application is completed and submitted by the student; 2) a Nominator Form must be completed and submitted by an educator- Principal, teacher, guidance counselor or higher education representative; 3) a Recommender Form must be completed and submitted by any adult who is familiar with the student’s community service and leadership activities, such as a supervisor at work or a community leader.
The deadline for submission is January 16, 2013.
John W. Daniels, Jr., chairman of Quarles & Brady LLP, and his wife Irma Daniels were named 2012 Parents of the Year by COA Youth and Family Centers along with Bud Selig, ninth Commissioner of Baseball, and his wife Sue Selig. The recognition was presented at the organization’s “Parent of the Year” luncheon event, on June 26, at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.
The Parents of the Year award has been given since 1982 to couples who represent the highest standards of corporate excellence, parental dedication and demonstrate qualities of leadership, community service, commitment to family, and an outstanding commitment to Milwaukee’s future generations.
“We are thoroughly pleased to be honored by COA for playing even a small part in the success of any child,” said Daniels upon accepting the award.