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Cracking the Corporate Code: The Revealing Success Stories of 32 African-American Executives (An AMA research report)
by:Price M. Cobbs, Judith L. Turnock
Over the last few decades, advances by African-Americans in the business world have been both impressive and well-documented. But even a cursory glance at the statistics -- not to mention a look around most corporations -- reveals that, despite much progress, minority executives are still relatively few and far between. Whether in the form of...
Over the last few decades, advances by African-Americans in the business world have been both impressive and well-documented. But even a cursory glance at the statistics -- not to mention a look around most corporations -- reveals that, despite much progress, minority executives are still relatively few and far between. Whether in the form of insensitivity, change-averse corporate cultures, socio-economic factors, or outright racism, African-Americans still face very real obstacles along the path to professional success. To many, these obstacles have seemed insurmountable, and their careers have foundered. But to thousands of others, these challenges have been an invitation to excel, and their accomplishments have been worthy of both praise and emulation. Cracking the Corporate Code delves deeply into the lives and careers of 32 such notable professionals. These are not the men and women usually cited: the high-profile government officials, the legendary civil rights pioneers, or the megastar athletes who have leveraged their on-field success into positions of leadership. The authors have chosen instead to profile individuals who have risen through the ranks of America's most noteworthy businesses, to the highest echelons of corporate power and influence. In exclusive, eye-opening interviews, these men and women recount their impressive and widely differing career trajectories, revealing what motivated and discouraged them, their sources of support and conflict, and the strategies they developed to excel in organizations like PepsiCo, GE, Merrill Lynch, Kraft, Prudential, Chrysler, and dozens more. Rather than offer these inspiring stories as individual biographies, the authors have identified their common threads, analyzing what they reveal to the reader about: * Reconciling the ambiguities inherent for black professionals in corporate culture * Trusting your own abilities and potential while managing the ever-present issue of race * Overcoming isolation to establish not only your place in the organization but also a voice that will be heard and respected * Reading the unwritten rules and developing the ""sixth sense"" necessary to play the game *Cultivating and managing the relationships that will be crucial to securing more meaningful and influential positions * Understanding what true power is, how to compete for and acquire it, and how to translate it into substantial leadership Opportunities for success abound for African-Americans. For the last 40 years, the best of the best have been stepping up to seize -- and often create -- those opportunities. The next generation of black professionals will travel the paths blazed by the pioneers profiled in this landmark book, and will be poised to achieve even greater results-while continuing the legacy of diversity for the generations yet to come. Price M. Cobbs, M.D., is co-author of Black Rage and The Jesus Bag, considered classics in the literature of African-American experience. Dr. Cobbs is also an internationally recognized expert on executive leadership, management development, and corporate diversity. He lives in San Francisco.
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