In celebration of Black history month 9Paths has chosen to showcase current Black leaders we have had the privilege to work alongside. Our past has always influenced our present.
It is the change these Black leaders make today that will pave the way for future leaders. I asked Shadrach what his best advice was for Black professionals whose work is unseen, the heart is not heard, or intellectually not recognized. Here’s how Shadrach responded:
As a business leader and an engineer by discipline, Shadrach says that the most important lesson he has learned in his career is the power of collaboration. And the impact that collaboration has on the development of professionals around the world. Shadrach believes collaboration is the next generation of innovation. And for professionals to thrive in the 21st century, we all must engage together.
His most successful projects have been a result of collaboration from diverse and inclusive teams. Shadrach agrees that it takes time for people to understand and respect each other’s professional and personal backgrounds and experiences; however, if patience is employed, the collaboration results are magical!
Shadrach believes Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, but collaboration is working together to choose the music. He started Re.engineer for this very reason. He saw the breakthroughs being made within diversity and some improvements in inclusion, but there was still a need to promote collaboration.
They are challenging the status quo by creating a bridge between professionals at all levels, enabling them to leverage solutions, techniques, innovation, technology, and overall leadership perspectives. This is what Shadrach calls a compilation of collaboration: Diversity of Thought.
To Shadrach, diversity of thought focuses on creating value and not the aspects of life that make us different.
My advice is very simple, confidence. I believe that the difference between a lighting bug and lightning is confidence.
Similar to physical strength, emotional strength must be developed and exercised, in a way that stretches you towards building a muscle memory of confidence. You can accomplish this by taking small steps.
First, challenge yourself to become uncomfortable with colleagues and advocates that you trust and are familiar with. They provide a safe haven where you can express yourself and solicit feedback.
As you become comfortable with being uncomfortable, you’ll notice that your confidence will grow which will enable you to be more vocal about what matters to you. This new-found confidence will be contagious and your circle of influence will also start taking notice of your assertiveness. They will naturally begin to recognize that you have a voice and that your voice matters. Learn more about Shadrach’s Story by clicking the “Learn More” button below.