All Articles Tagged "leadership"
Entrepreneurship has become one of the most popular career paths in the past five years, becoming a tempting option to consider in our unstable global economy. Mike Seiman, of CPX Interactive conducted a 60-minute webinar discussing some of the best reasons to strike out on your own. If you are thinking about becoming your own boss and creating your own “rat race,” here are nine factors that may help with your decision.
Trish Tchume, national director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, claims that she “found [her] way to the nonprofit sector sort of by accident,” and now she works to provide networking and career opportunities for young professionals in the nonprofit space. But with an upbringing rooted in hard work and a community based in her Ghanaian roots, her path to YNPN makes sense.
“I’m first-generation Ghanaian-American and my parents, they helped found and were active in the local Ghanaian association,” Tchume told Madame Noire. “I’d always grown up with this ethos that if you need something, you turn to your community or network and they can help you with what you need.”
After a stint working in residential life at a small liberal arts college and getting her masters in social justice education, Tchume made her way into nonprofits and never looked back. She talks to Madame Noire about her role in the organization, the goals for the network, which consists of 34 chapters across the country, and how technology and social media play a role in the YNPN’s work.
Madame Noire: Tell me a bit about your background and how you became the national director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
Trish Tchume: In 2004, after graduating with my masters from the University of Vermont, I got a job for Idealist.org in Philadelphia and it was my dream job for a lot of reasons, including the fact that I got to go home. My family was there and all my friends were there, but I didn’t feel like I had a professional network. Luckily, my boss at Idealist heard about YNPN and when I got to Philadelphia, he was in the midst of starting a chapter in Philadelphia, so that’s how I came to know YNPN. I worked with him to set up an affiliate chapter in 2004.
When I moved to New York, I was asked to join the national board of the organization in 2007 and I was on the board until 2011. While I was board chair, we were able to raise funds to finally hire the first director for the national network and I applied for the job. So here I am.
MN: What is your role as national director?
TT: The high-level job description is that I set a collective vision and strategy for the network. We have 30-plus chapters all across the country and they are in really diverse communities, which is great. But they all operate independently and they are all run by volunteers. So my job is to set the collective vision and strategy for the network. We’re doing what we can in the individual communities, but at the end of the day, we want to be the pipeline for moving diverse talent into and throughout the nonprofit sector.
I’ve also spent time being the voice of our membership. I go to a lot to conferences and speak on behalf on the young people that are working in the nonprofit sector, talking about the leadership development they are calling for, the change that they want to see in the sector, and areas they think are critical for this sector to invest in. Between 2011 and January 2013, I did 43 speaking engagements on behalf of YNPN. That was really important to me, making sure that people know who we are and know what our value is in the sector.
The day-to-day, I’m doing a lot of the project management of the infrastructure projects we’re doing. In early 2012, I developed and launched a project called YNPN 3.0, which is aimed at developing the systems that will allow our 30-plus chapters to be able to operate more seamlessly as a network. We started that 3.0 process with sharing data on membership and developing a chapter congress so they have a voice and vote in national decision-making. Day-to-day, right now, I am working on rebuilding that technology platform and looking to figure out how we can hire additional staff.
In 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) as “a force for desegregation.” As we honor Dr. King this weekend, not much has changed for the Girl Scouts.
Currently, there are 2.3 million girl members (and 890,000 adult members) of the Girl Scouts, with 11.3 percent of girls identifying as black or African-American and 11.6 percent as Hispanic, according to membership data from GSUSA.
Diversity within Girl Scouts has been around since founder Juliette Gordon Low started the organization in 1912, said Michelle Tompkins, media manager for GSUSA, and diversity included girls from different socio-economic backgrounds, religions, and girls with disabilities.
“The first troop itself had girls who were orphans and were from the local synagogue,” Tompkins added. “We like to say the Girl Scouts has a history of diversity and inclusion that has been in our DNA.”
Additionally, leadership at the organization also reflects a more diverse country, with current CEO Anna Maria Chavez, a Latina, and national president of the board Connie Lindsey, an African-American.
Attracting a Diverse Membership
“All of our national programming is girl driven and we take program ideas to the girls themselves so they can inform them,” explained Andrea Bastiani Archibald, a developmental psychologist and senior researcher of field-testing for GSUSA. “When we are developing a new national program, we will over-index in girls of color and other segments we are not reaching,” to help understand more of what would attract them to Girl Scouting.
The organization works hard to not only attract girls from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds, but also different socio-economic statuses and from both rural and urban areas.
“We’ve created a lot of membership resources, program resources, and marketing resources that are specifically targeting underserved populations, including Hispanics, African-Americans, and in some cases Asian and Native American girls,” added Gregory Jackson, implementation consultant with the Girl Scouts.
He also noted that GSUSA partners with organizations such as the historically black sorority Sigma Gamma Rho or the African Methodist Episcopal Church, to provide volunteers and role models who represent the underserved populations and come from similar communities. The sorority, he said, is a great example of showing younger Girl Scouts how they can grow up to attend college and study courses including STEM programs, and the church has offered to let local troops meet at their buildings, connecting the community.
Sometimes this diversity has been a challenge to the Girl Scouts, as when transgender girl Bobby Montoya wanted to join a troop in Colorado in early 2012.
Archibald said each recent situation is different and the organization handles each individually, while leaving the final decision to the local council: “If the child is living culturally as a girl, for example, and has been going to school as a girl, we would welcome and want to place them in the best possible situation.”
Diversity Benefits Students in School and in Scouts
In November 2012, research from the National Coalition on School Diversity found that diverse schools provide benefits for students of all races and socio-economic backgrounds.
“Wide-ranging and probing discussions occur in diverse classrooms that help generate creative, high-quality solutions to problems,” the Coalition wrote in a press release about the findings. “Racially integrated schools are associated with reduced prejudice among students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, a diminished likelihood of stereotyping, and more friendships across racial lines and higher levels of cultural competence.”
The Girl Scouts provide a similar atmosphere for encouraging growth in diversity. In a recent survey from the Girl Scout Research Institute, girls were willing to talk about and promote diversity among their friends and families. In the survey, 58 percent of girls said they try to listen to and value other people’s ideas, 49 percent said they try to make friends from different backgrounds, and 43 percent said they speak up when they hear someone being picked on because of their differences.
“Through our program experiences, girls come to value diversity and different ideas and different background and different experiences because it is built right in,” Archibald said. She spoke of a very diverse Brownie troop she visited recently, which she described as “a force to be reckoned with in their community. You could see they embrace differences and they appreciate differences and approaching problems differently. They came to work effectively on a team and take on different roles.”
Leading Girls Into the Future
The Girl Scouts are also working on getting diversity in the workforce, by preparing girls for leadership roles. Archibald said that GSUSA has been working to get more systematic with its leadership programs and help make the programs fit with a more modern leader.
“We try to tailor the leadership experiences we offer to what girls need for life skills—healthy relationships, advocacy, in tackling challenges in their community, in their ability to identify community needs and create sustainable solutions to problems,” she said. “Skills that they can use today, in age appropriate way, as well as take with them for tomorrow.”
Michael Watson, SVP of human resources and diversity for GSUSA, looks at the long-term effects of getting girls and young women ready for careers and leadership positions: “We are a pipeline of talent for the nation. One of the critical issues that this nation will face over the next 10-15 years is ‘will we have the talent needed to provide the engineers, the doctors, the nurses, the welders and the like? And if we don’t have enough women in that pipeline, from every different background, we are not going to be able to compete internationally and that is going to hurt our entire economy. What we do in Girl Scouts is very important in terms of preparing girls from all backgrounds and preparing them for all careers.”
What do you think? Were you a Girl Scout? How did that experience shape who you became as an adult?
Women make up only 21 percent of leadership roles at nonprofit organizations with more than $25 million budgets, according to the “Benchmarking Women’s Leadership” study from the Women’s College of the University of Denver and The White House Project.
And minority women, including African Americans, make up an even smaller percentage. Here are some amazing African-American women who are leading cool nonprofit organizations across the country.
Beverly Bond, CEO of Black Girls Rock!
Launched in 2006, Black Girls Rock! is a youth enrichment and empowerment program based in New York that encourages young black women to get involved in music, culture, and the arts. Founder Beverly Bond has grown the organization to include a leadership camp and an annual awards show, which took place for the seventh time in 2012 and aired on BET on November 4.
Tags:black girls rock!, black women, Center for American Progress, charity, College Bound California, girl scouts, green for all, leaders, leadership, Minds Matter, nonprofit organizations, nonprofits, Rebecca Project for Human Rights, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target Foundation, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network
Do women lead a certain way? According to Sharon Hadary and Laura Henderson, authors of How Women Lead: The 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know, there are fundamental differences between women and men business leaders. Inc.com asked Hadary and Henderson the secrets of successful women’s leadership styles. Madame Noire asked a group of powerful female executives to reveal theirs as well.
Own Your Destiny–and Judge Yourself Only by Your Own Metrics
Hadary and Henderson found in their research that women who achieve most are also women who define success in their own terms. And that they aim high. “Women should think of their businesses as a $1 million business from Day One,” says Henderson. “This drives how they structure the business, the decisions they make, and the way they present themselves and the business.”
The second season of Shonda Rhimes’s latest hit show Scandal is generating all kinds of buzz, and that’s largely because of Kerry Washington’s excellent portrayal of the commanding and capable crisis manager, Olivia Pope. Every Thursday, we watch in awe as our beloved heroine make moves and power plays among Washington’s elite. She’s smart, she’s fierce and she’s always impeccably dressed. We love her. We want to be like her. Here is a list of valuable lessons we can learn from Olivia Pope.
Keep Your Friends (and Enemies) Close.
It long has been said that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. No doubt Olivia Pope has mastered that. Many times she finds herself on the one side of a scandal, while U.S. Attorney David Rosen is on the other side determined to bring about justice. Olivia is not afraid to convince him to call off the dog, or use her influence to through David off the trail. However, Olivia knows she has to keep him close so she will always gets what she needs.
Say It and Mean It.
The way Olivia Pope seems so sure of herself, you could hardly imagine her fretting over what she’s going to wear every day. She does everything on purpose. When Olivia negotiates with her clients, she doesn’t waiver, she puts reality on the table and tells them what she’s going to do. Olivia Pope takes her promises, threats and decisions seriously, and so does everyone around her. Even when Fitz begged Olivia to keep their affair going, when she hung up the phone, he got the message loud and clear. The next time you find yourself in a situation when you have to make a difficult decision, be like Olivia. Say it, mean it and own it.
Don’t Tip Your Hand…Unless It’s Absolutely Necessary.
Remember when Olivia Pope hired Quinn Perkins? No one knew why, not even Harrison who was sent out to “recruit” her. Even toward the end of Season 1 when Quinn’s real identity was called in to question, Olivia didn’t reveal the truth. She kept Quinn’s secret safe until she felt it was absolutely necessary to tell the rest of the associates. Olivia shows us how we don’t have to put our business out there, but when we do, it should be for a very good reason.
Lead, Don’t Follow.
It’s easy to imagine a young Olivia Pope with pigtails holding things down as the line leader in grade school. She radiates “born leader” in everything she does. We watch her week after week breeze into her office giving rapid-fire orders to her associates, setting the day’s agenda and squashing any opposition. Leaders blaze their own paths. Leaders communicate their vision with clarity. Leaders don’t allow anyone to take over and run things, as they always maintain control of a situation. Olivia Pope as a crisis manager cannot afford to follow the leader. If we channel our inner Olivia Popes, neither will we.
Look the Part.
From the flawless hair to the jewelry to the fabulous jackets, power suits and handbags, Olivia always looks like she means business. When Olivia Pope walks into a room, everyone takes her seriously. Sure we love her clothes and her hair, but for Olivia Pope it’s part of her brand. She can go from the office to the courtroom to the White House, turning heads along the way. If you want the people around you to take you more seriously, take a page from Olivia Pope’s style manual.
Follow @KimberlyWriter on Twitter.
Another day, another thing we can learn from our fabulous FLOTUS.
Today, we have insight from James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, authors of the book Leadership Challenge, who offer five leadership practices gleaned from the words and actions of Michelle Obama. Black Enterprise highlights five noteworthy traits.
“Basically, practice what you preach,” the article says. “In order to position an organization to continuously set high standards and show commitment, leaders must model their ideal behavior.” The First Lady has talked about how the President reads letters from ordinary Americans and empathizes with their plight.
Also, “inspire a shared vision.”
“The most palatable way to lead is understanding the concerns, values, and aspirations you share with supporters,” the article continues.
To be further inspired by FLOTUS’ leadership skills, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
While it seems some women are breaking the corporate ceiling, many African-American female executives are finding themselves left behind. And those who do reach the pinnacle of success in their industries are finding that they face harsher penalties than other business leaders when organizations fail.
According to a new study by professors Ashleigh Shelby Rosette of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Robert W. Livingston of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, black women point-blank have a harder time of their jobs in leadership positions. The study, entitled “Failure is not an option for Black women: Effects of organizational performance on leaders with single versus dual-subordinate identities,“ is published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and was covered today on The Huffington Post.
For the study, 228 participants “read fictitious news articles about a company’s performance, including permutations in which the leader was black or white, male or female and successful or unsuccessful. What they found was that black women who failed were viewed more critically than their underperforming white or male counterparts — even those of the same race,” HuffPo writes.
Author and life empowerment coach Dr. Anita Davis DeFoe said in an online chat that black women must face the reality that racism exists in the workplace and learn to overcome other people’s preconceptions. “People will always bring their stereotypical thinking and biases into the workplace, so as women of color we must accept this, hope that it changes, but meanwhile focus on aspects of our work life we can control.” In order to do this, Dr. DeFoe advises:
1. Focus on strengthening your personal emotional intelligence (EQ). No one is able to increase the emotional intelligence of another, especially in the workplace. Understanding your level of emotional intelligence will help you build stronger relationships, succeed at work and achieve your career and personal goals, in spite of biases.
2. Become an irreplaceable employee. Develop skills and productivity levels that make you a star employee in the company. Results can overcome many discrimination issues as competency is always regarded. You do not necessarily have to have popular to have power. By being an employee who is highly valuable, your status and responsibilities will naturally increase to meet the company’s needs and foster the respect that you deserve.
As I read through the latest outrage at the moment, aka, the hoopla over new rapper Chief Keef, I keep hearing Georgia Anne Muldrow and Erykah Badu lyrically asking, “what if there were no n****rs, only master teachers?”
For those who don’t know, Chief Keef is the Chicago teenager (above photo, to the left), who started out of as just another YouTube rapper and has now become one of hip-hop’s most buzzed about artists. Not only has he just inked a deal with Interscope Records, but he also has caught the attention of such hip hop mavericks as Kanye West, who hopped on a remix of his song, “I Don’t Like.” He is also being investigated for a possible connection in the shooting death of fellow Chicago rapper, Joesph ‘Lil JoJo’ Coleman (above, to the right), who may I add, was only 16.
Keef, who was born Keith Cozart, drew the attention of law enforcement after laughing off the murder of Lil JoJo by saying via Twitter, “Its Sad Cuz Dat N—– Jojo Wanted to Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.” He is also known for promoting and supporting gang culture including dancing around in his music videos with what appears to be automatic weapons and tweeting the hashtag “#300” — a known reference to the Black Disciples. And at 17 years old, Keef has already faced numerous criminal charges, including a weapons charge, which has already landed him on house arrest.
The response to the rise of Keef has been rather swift, most notably from fellow Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco, who publicly criticized Keef for perpetrating the hoodlum lifestyle, which runs parallel to the culture of violence already running amok in the streets of Chicago. Many folks I have encountered have agreed with Lupe, claiming that Keef, and others of his elk, are a burden to the community. “These n****rs are the reason why our community is the way it is,” has become a commonplace mantra in the minds of some black folks. But truth be told, I see plenty of Chief Keefs in my community all the time. And when it comes to what’s wrong with the community, there is enough of that blame to be shared all around.
Young people, particularly young black people, have longed played witness to serious and lethal violence within their own communities. When I graduated from high school, the murder rate in Philadelphia was around 4oo deaths per year. My nephews and niece, who only a month ago, learned of the shooting death of a teenager only steps away from their front door have already grasped the finality of death, even before they can mature enough to witness adulthood. Recently, I saw a bunch of little kids, between the ages of 9 to 11, roaming the street around 12:30 in the morning like a bunch of aimless orphans. Unfortunately, seeing hordes of parentless children at odd hours of the night has become so much of the norm that I didn’t even bother to flinch. The reality is that long after Chief Keef’s moment in the limelight has faded – whether it be from gang violence, the prison industrial complex or crossing over to the mainstream – the community will still have a violence problems. If we don’t get a handle on it, there will be someone else, someone younger, to take his place. Exhibit 1: 13-year old Lil Mouse.
But even as the threat of losing an entire generation (i.e. the children) grows uncomfortably near, many of us have become stagnated in prayer, hope, apathy and the wait for change to come. I noticed this much last week when all eyes were fixated on the Democratic National Convention. Collectively, African-Americans are more involved in the political process than most other minority groups, supporting a one-party system by as much as 90 percent. However, we have yet to see the fruits from all of our labor or loyalty. Nevertheless, when Rahm Emanuel asked us whose leadership we wanted in event of “an unforeseen crisis, challenge or conflict,” we don’t bother to question whose leadership is in charge as a teachers strike looms and blood runs red in the streets of Chicago. We smirked and laughed alongside former President Bill Clinton, who worked his arithmetic mojo while reaffirming President Obama’s commitment to the work requirement in welfare reform, a policy called by most a dismal failure. And as the RNC’s mantra/question – “Are you better now than four years ago?” – blared from our television sets, many of us couldn’t wait to nod our heads in the affirmative, even when the reality – at least for us – suggests otherwise.
When leading your own company, team or project, it’s important to have a vision and a plan to make that vision reality. Whether you’re trying to tackle acquiring that next client, increasing revenues, building a new product or expanding your consumer base, having a step-by-step strategy can ensure you nor your team is running blind and ineffectively.
A true visionary knows the importance of having a solid strategy and being transparent about the plan with those who will help implement it.
Entrepreneur Aaron Anders details a plan he and the co-founders of his company, Slingshot SEO, decided to implement after taking a step back to reevaluate their business to ensure further growth. They decided to put a 90-day deadline on getting the wheels turning. Take a cue from Anders and his colleagues to learn how you can be on the path to reaching your career and life goals.
Read about the 90-day Vision Plan at BlackEnterprise.com
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