President & Owner, Cricket Wireless–Constant Enterprises
What do you consider your greatest strength, and how do you think it benefits your business?
My greatest strength is my ability to stay focused on my goal and not get distracted by events that would otherwise derail me from achieving it. My train keeps moving forward regardless of any emotional upheavals. This allows me to maneuver through difficult situations in my personal or professional life while staying calm. It also allows me to effectively lead and influence colleagues to achieve a greater good, when they might otherwise “lose it.”
How do you motivate others?
Fortunately, I don’t have to motivate the professionals by whom I’m surrounded. I only work with folks who can see the vision, be excited about it, and embrace it to make it their own. Every member of my team must see his or her self-interest attached to this greater good. When people see and believe this, they will only need reminding of their self-interest. I’ve learned that people motivation is temporary; hiring motivated people is more sustainable.
What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African American community today?
The greatest issue facing the African-American community lies in the newer generation of young people who may be embracing counter-productive belief systems and cultures that are encouraged by various media.
We must take ownership of our own positive images, cultural values, and productive thought processes that comes from within our own communities. A positive belief system and culture is the most powerful tool to help our thoughts and beliefs become our reality.
How do you give back to the African American community?
I’m a mentor with Adimu and a board member of Project Men. These organizations are geared towards providing guidance, leadership training, and exposure to young African-American men.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned in the course of your career?
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my career is to never let fear keep me from accomplishing any goal. If I had believed what fear expressed years ago, I would not be here today. I always remind myself of the quote, “Fear is a liar.”
What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her career?
I would tell that person to focus on a career that allows him or her to build upon their talents, passions, and greater purpose. This is where the magic happens. The money will come as a bi-product of creating great value to the market.
What is your favorite quote, and why?
My favorite quote is from the Bible: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
This quote teaches me to bypass the emotional rollercoaster that comes with owning a business. Instead, I always do my best to not worry when troubles come, and only focus on the positivity that has to show itself in all of my situations.