With all the negativity and violence storming our streets, let’s remind ourselves what true Black Power is. That it is uplifting, and should be used as a tool to against ignorance, mainly our own. That it is something we are
born with, an innate ability, but most choose not to use it wisely or have regressed from it. Knowledge of self, confidence in being, awareness & control are key components of Black Power.
Taking roles of leadership for granted and exhausting them diminishes
Black Power, so does greed and violence as well as the proverbial “I’m better than you” mentality (when hoarded on to those slave ships do you think they argued over who’s shackles were better?). None of this is needed or wanted to succeed nor does any of it bring forth any power, it sets us back. WE become the stereotype! These articles and small introduction don’t even account for the tip of the iceberg on this matter, but I hope it reaches the minds of the readers.
The position of Black Men in leadership roles can be overlooked at a glance because most people in society tend to look more at a “picture” or better yet an “image” while leaving its decision or feelings on the situation based on that. Not thinking passed the image to take the time to actually read, understand and or feel what these men have really accomplished in ascertaining these roles of leadership.
Today I sit down with Kenneth Lee Averiett, a Young Black Male who has held multiple leadership positions (Supervisor, Trainer, Subject Matter Expert) at one time and is a current Floor Leader and Agent for Plusone Communications in Akron, Ohio. This is what our conversation brought forth on the subject:
1. Let's get straight to the point. Can you explain to us the pros and cons of being a black man in a position of leadership within a system not designed for us?
Being a black man in a position of influence or leadership is an accomplishment in its own right. A leadership role comes with its own set of pros & cons, but as a black man there are societal challenges we face daily that people aren't hip to, or don't want to acknowledge.
My survival instinct is sharper. My penchant for self-education, self-improvement is more acute. There are skills, social, technological or otherwise that I've worked to improve that I have to be display at the ready just to PROVE that I deserve to be where I am. I almost never receive the benefit of the doubt. I will never pass some peoples eye test. Some people will never admit or acknowledge their personal bias. That's okay. There's a rebellious strength that I draw from that. A defiance something I would never have if I were born any other way.
2. At any time leading up to being in your role as a leader, did you ever feel inferior? Have you felt inferior during your role?
There are times that I sense my opinion, my output, or my effort, are of less value because of my role as a black man. But I've never felt inferior never that. I would never let adversity impact my own sense of worth as a human being. I know better. Adversity is a part of life. It is where we draw our strength from.
3. Since being in a leadership position, have your views on business changed?
Every since I've worked my way into a position of influence, position of leadership, yes my views on business have changed. I've become hyper-sensitive to the way people regard me, people like me & everyone else. I usually don't show anyone anything less than my best, so if I'm being treated less than someone else who isn't putting out their best, showing up on time, pulling their own weight, etc, etc. I have to ask why is that, what could be the reason?
4. Do you wish to go further as a leader in your area of business or in another field elsewhere?
I always want to improve. I want to take over, but not until I'm ready.
5. What advice do you have for young black males in the community not just trying to excel in leadership, but trying to survive in a system not created for them?
You have to know what it takes to be a good leader. We all know people who are at the very top of the corporate ladder who are authorities. We do what they say because they have power over us, but they are not good leaders. I know people who are at the bottom of these same companies with no authority, but are absolutely leaders. They look out for the person to their left, they look out for the person on their right. Always do the honest thing. Trust & passion with take you farther with people than anything else.
One lesson to take away from this article……let the facts and actions paint the image. Having Black Leadership is “Black Power”