Cracking the Corporate Code: The Revealing Success Stories of 32 African-American Executives

Cracking the Corporate Code: The Revealing Success Stories of 32 African-American Executives

Cracking the Corporate Code: The Revealing Success Stories of 32 African-American Executives

Cracking the Corporate Code: The Revealing Success Stories of 32 African-American Executives

Excerpt

In an era of celebrity worship, we offer here the real stories of thirty-two very successful people who are not household names. Their sterling accomplishments are inspiring, yet, for the most part, they are little known outside the confines of their families and work lives. They are senior corporate executives, at the top of American business, most with long careers at Fortune 500 compa- nies. And they are all African American.

These men and women are in the proud tradition of trailblaz- ers like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali, but without the cheering crowds. They operate below the radar screen of popular culture and without sports' satisfyingly clear standards for measur- ing excellence. There was no ball to throw, hit, or catch, no knock- out punch; they had to learn to excel in a much more subjective environment, which they mastered with determination, intelli- gence, and above all supreme self-confidence. Invisible to the gen- eral population, they soared beyond the limited roles society set for them. While their messages here are directed to young African Americans in corporate America, they in fact resonate for everyone who aspires to leadership in large organizations.

Think of this book as a personal conversation between you and the thirty-two executives. To get the most from this conver- sation, use it to guide your own process of introspection. In each chapter, ask questions of the executives, and ask yourself questions. Try to find answers. Stretch yourself. This book can be for you the map they did not have. Their collective wisdom can light your career path.

What is the corporate “code” these executives had to crack in order to be successful? Corporate culture is the deeply felt system of shared values and assumptions, conveyed through stories, myths . . .

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