Transition reflects successful management styles of black executives

The campaign and transition style of President-elect Barack Obama is a formula that has worked for millions of African-Americans who have broken into management over the past 40 years, says the author of a book on black executives.
John William Templeton, who wrote Success Secrets of Black Executives (ASPIRE SAN FRANCISCO ISBN 9780935419030) in 1992 based on his experiences with black high technology managers, said the President-elect is facing scenarios common to many of his predecessors.
“Almost invariably, black pacesetters report that their first management breakthrough occured in the context of a crisis, usually where the survival of the organization depended on their performance,” said Templeton.
Observers of Obama should not be surprised at his apparent calm in the face of two wars, new global crises, the economic meltdown and the political drama in his own hometown. “There are cultural reasons why African-Americans do well in times of uncertainty,” adds Templeton.
“The tendency to view events in a paradoxical–both-and–fashion leads to clearer assessments of the environment, seeing opportunities in times of danger or finding common cause with apparent enemies.
“Templeton has edited, a business news site for 15 years after serving as editor of the San Jose Business Journal, where he was the first African-American editor for American City Business Journals.
For the past nine years, his site has selected the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology, highlighting often unknown bottom-line achievers in cutting edge fields.
Those executives tend to model diversity as a management strategy, not for social reasons, but because it affords them the best opportunity to succeed.
“His cabinet selections not only reach out to unexpected former opponents, but he is also attracting other African-Americans who have been forged in the crucible of bottom-line performance in new roles,” added Templeton.
The author of “Is There an Obama Play in the Market?” in the October 2008 newsletter of the New York Society of Security Analysts suggests that this business ethic can also bring dividends outside government in the wider business world.
“The common thread in our economic crises, and many of our governmental blunders, is the insular thinking of the conventional wisdom,” says the veteran business journalist, who predicted the current economic crisis in an article in the San Jose Mercury News in 2003.
“It doesn’t make sense in a free market, that all three domestic automakers or every Wall Street investment house would make the same mistakes.
“Investors, like voters, should draw confidence from business leaders who employ the types of management strategies described in some of the anecdotes including in Success Secrets.
“The best risk management is common sense and humility combined with an intellectual curiosity,” said Templeton.


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