Beyond great skills, great tools, and great credentials, there's but one secret to competitive advantage for African American professionals: Culture!
In my podcast and in other blog posts, I have alluded to the fact that African American culture is an operating system that organizes and perpetuates our shared values. Beyond that fact, it's important to also emphasize the reality that our culture is not neutral. It is biased in favor of Black people. Everything in the culture, from beauty standards to work ethic to family structures, is designed to support Black excellence.
For all of you upwardly mobile African American professionals who are committed to changing your lives from ordinary to amazing, you must turn to the culture for competitive advantage. This reaches far beyond climbing the corporate ladder. Some key benefits of leveraging the culture include: unleashing your full potential; working to thrive, not just survive; being part of a real community; making a positive impact; living free of toxins and stress; being a global citizen; and living in alignment with your Ancestral Promise.
HOW DOES THE CULTURE CREATE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?
African American professionals have to meet five essential needs in order to achieve competitive advantage. To the extent that you - the African American professionals - can meet those needs for yourselves, you will unleash greater degrees of creative potential. In this way, strong cultural affiliation inspires intrinsically-motivated, passionate, loyal and dedicated Black professionals.
Culture has the power to inspire African American professionals to move themselves, to move mountains, and to support each other in a way that is truly unique. And if you couple it with cutting edge professionalism, supported by great technology, culture creates absolutely the most powerful competitive advantage for African Americans.
Culture & Competitive Advantage
Your ability to leverage the culture can create competitive advantage primarily because the culture can be imitated, but it cannot be duplicated. Unlike a product, a price point, or technological system, culture is something that comes out of the collective consciousness of the people. If you haven't lived it, you won't really know it form the inside out. For African American professionals who actively leverage the culture, they experience the ways in which it provides an environment that supports stronger networking, relationship-building, and loyalty. Not only that, when we're all on the same page, we also enjoy greater productivity and an increased sense of ownership.
In conclusion, here's a three-part, intentional process for organizing your professional development around strong cultural values:
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.