With the latest Department of Labor statistics indicating 16.1 percent of the black population versus 8.7 percent of the white population face unemployment, "The Apprentice"-winner Randal Pinkett offers clear advice for business success -- stop playing the game and start redefining it.
"African-Americans who cling to strategies that worked in the past, without taking into account how the world is shifting, will likely feel frustrated as they progress at a snail's pace or, worse, lose ground in the future," Pinkett explains. "We must redefine the game now because while we have made tremendous progress, we still face tremendous challenges, and tremendous work remains to be done. Our communities and our country cannot afford to wait."
Randal Pinkett, author of the upcoming book "Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness" (AMACOM; October 28, 2010) with Rutgers Business School Professor Jeffrey Robinson, believes that the key to success is to transcend supposed barriers and survival instincts, and instead to pursue greatness.
(1) Establish a strong identity. Leverage your culture and ethnicity as assets, not as liabilities. These characteristics give you a unique competitive advantage, so don't white-wash your resume.
(2) Network and build diverse relationships. Use your membership in professional black organizations to meet people and discover new opportunities.
(3) Seek the wisdom of others. We all know the power of a great mentor and now is the time to take advantage of everything they have to offer.
(4) Become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship creates wealth, transforms communities, and boosts the wealth of African-Americans as a whole.
(5) Give back generously. As the recession attempts to tear us apart, now is the time for us to give back to one another. Whether with time, talent, or money, we can all make a difference.
As Pinkett asserts, "Black Americans should not focus on winning the game in any arena -- business, professional, social, or political. The ultimate goal is to redefine the game sufficiently to end the game itself."
© 2010 AMACOM
AMACOM is the book publishing division of the American Management Association, a world leader in professional development, advancing the skills of individuals, teams, organizations and government agencies.
For more information please visit "www.amacombooks.org".
Randal Pinkett, Ph.D., coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, was the winner of season four of The Apprentice and the show's first minority winner. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, an information technology and management consulting firm. Dr. Pinkett is based in Somerset, New Jersey.
For more information please visit www.randalpinkett.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.
Jeffrey Robinson, Ph.D., coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, is a leading business scholar at Rutgers Business School and lives in Piscataway, New Jersey.
plez sez: full disclosure - plezWorld received a review copy of the book, "Black Faces in White Places" in exchange for publishing the feature above.
i did receive a complimentary review copy, but i plan to buy at 10 copies for people in my network who i mentor. it is chock full of suggestions and strategies for advancement as a person of color in the corporate arena. this book should be required reading for every black college graduate!
i really connected on a personal level with Randal Pinkett: grew up in a small, predominantly white town in upstate New York, attended a predominantly white university to study engineering, and go to work on a daily basis as one of the few Black faces in the office. his story and game-changing strategies definitely resonated with plezWorld.