OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Being a Black Man in Corporate Leadership

Being a Black Man in Corporate Leadership

Motivation for self; crafted during a period of adversity.

*steps in front of mirror*

You are extensively accomplished and trained in healthcare policy, strategic analysis, operational excellence and healthcare administration. You took 7 years of your life to earn 3 degrees. You are just a kid from Philly. You have a very pragmatic way of doing things that many do not understand. You take time to explain context to stakeholders ranging from front line staff members to C-suite executives. You struggle to understand why others do not want you to succeed, but take it in stride and focus on personal development. You are given the most difficult assignments and make milestones appear effortless. You have very detailed oversight of 3 large health system hospitals with revenues of approximately $788 million, yet senior leadership still has doubts about your potential to assume their roles. You are subject to unwarranted criticism that comes by virtue of your race. You are a moving target. You are a threat to the “old guard.” You ain’t shit.

Being a Black Man in corporate leadership is difficult. At times, you feel empowered and ready to take charge. Other moments, you feel defeated and limited in your ability to shift status quo. You are given fewer resources in comparison to your white counterparts. You are forced to “make it work.” Little do they know, this is your story; “making it work” is a way of life. No matter how many obstacles, and roadblocks the opposition places in your path, it is your job to overcome them. Even when you do, it is not enough. Gladly, it isn’t about pleasing others. It never was. You prove others wrong and never brag about it, because it displays weakness. You are climbing ladders and bringing others with you for the experience. You embrace negativity and use it as fuel. You are fully engaged in putting other Black Men in position to succeed.

You chose this field because the prospect of improving healthcare for all was intriguing. Having the ability to create efficient, value-based and patient-centric care is at the core of your values. You know your worth and challenge others like you to do the same. You empower people with your outlook. You know the end goal and the diligence it requires to get there. You are not on this journey alone. You are charged with establishing a legacy of Black Men who will lead healthcare in the near future. You are powerful and unleash varying levels of talent within individuals. You are a threat to conventional wisdom. You are a king. You ARE the shit.

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