Multiple Personalities: High-Profile Women and The Business Traits That Led Them To Success

November 28, 2012  |  
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You probably see these people every day, especially if you work in a large office with various managers. Each leader has different characteristics.

Recently, Forbes looked at “The 9 Corporate Personality Types And How to Inspire Them to Innovate.” It inspired us to look at well-known African-American corporate executives. Do you agree with us?

 BAMBI: Sherri Shepherd

“Almost every new recruit starts out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. They are fresh hard drives ready to be filled with data. You can get them to do almost anything. They walk into meetings armed with fresh slides, broad smiles, and a professionalism they’ve practiced in interviews, in school, and in the mirror,” writes Forbes.

Although she has been with The View for more than a minute, Sherri Shepherd is still comes to the table every morning with newbie enthusiasm. Shepherd recently launched her own wig line, as we reported.

BELIEVER : Michelle Obama

Believers love to promote their brand.

Michelle Obama could be called a true believer—she not only tirelessly promotes her hubby, President Barack Obama, but she is constantly pumping America and anything American—from Target to designer Tracy Reese.


ALPHA: Omarosa

“Alphas love crushing competition and playing the corporate game. Their identity, self-worth and status are linked to their corporate conquests,” explains Forbes.

This describes Omarosa to a tee. Who can forget how she likes to play dirty on  reality shows such as The Apprentice? She is one of the few reality show stars to last more than the usually 15 minutes of fame—all because she has Alpha instructs and knows how to use them. She’s a frequent guest on a variety of TV shows, an author, and professor at Howard.


SURVIVOR: Gayle King

According to Forbes, “Survivors don’t like taking risks and don’t want to change the world, unless it’s a sure thing… Their powers come from strong relationships, shared history, or knowing where the bodies are buried.” One thing’s for sure about Gayle King: Oprah’s bestie is a survivor.  Although King had already launched her own career in journalism before O made it big, she hopped along for the Oprah ride—and upped herself on the national media stage in the process.

SOLDIER: Condoleeza Rice

Condoleeza Rice was former President George W. Bush’s unwavering soldier. As Secretary of State, she furiously backed Bush’s global stance. As Forbes explains, “Soldiers are solid team players… They can be great at one thing like project management, analysis, process improvement or people development.”

PRAGMATIST: Radio One’s Cathy Hughes

Pragmatists are the ying to the Believer’s yang. Many are just as capable or talented, but they’re generally more skeptical, analytical, and idealistic. Cathy Hughes, Radio One, Inc. chairperson and founder, is a shrewd businesswoman. We’re sure she maps out her every move before taking a leap. Her achievements are too long to list, but among them she took Radio One public in 1998, making her the first and only African-American female to head a publicly traded corporation; she created the Quiet Storm format for radio; at one point, Radio One owned more than 70 radio stations; and through Radio One she founded TV One.

NATURAL: Oprah Winfrey

“Naturals are ambitious and talented, but demand more balance in their life. They can be as effective as Alphas, but tend to be more humble and jocular. They deliver results and earn genuine loyalty and respect from peers and subordinates. Naturals are born networkers and build reciprocal relationships,” explains Forbes.

Oprah’s natural ability has drawn thousands to her, causing her and her brand to reach the pinnacle. Her latest venture, OWN is coming into into its own, and surely there’s more to come from Lady O.

HERETIC: Kimora Lee Simmons

Says Forbes, “Heretics are a wildcard. Some are visionary, idealists and innovators who can change the company or the world. Others just don’t like rules and are difficult to work with.” Ever watch Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane? Then you know Heretic could be Simmon’´middle name. She likes big ideas, living fabulously, and taking chances. And now she has taken on a new TV venture called House of Fab.


TOILER: Susan Rice

“Toilers represent a large portion of any corporate population. Toilers may not be looking to conquer the corporate world, but they are essential to the success of any company. Of course, performance can range from incredible efficiency to a frustrating malaise,” writes Forbes. Susan Rice may become the next Secretary of State, replacing Hilary Clinton when she leaves office. But first she has to get past the controversy over the initial reports following the September 11 attack in Benghazi that took the life of a US ambassador. Currently the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Rice rose up the ranks with good, old-fashioned hard work.

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