People are taking notice of the power moves by women across the globe now more than ever. And when it comes to women-led businesses in developing nations, the importance of supporting their growth is enormous. “Empowering women and girls is the best way to maintain stability in a country, reduce poverty, and promote sustainable development,” says Saran Kaba Jones, executive director of FACE Africa, a nonprofit organization that develops water purification and sanitation systems throughout Liberia.
What can you do? That simple question chorused by the Half The Sky movement, has placed the flashlight on the challenges that women face around the world. Countless people watched with bated breath the recent premiere of PBS’s 2-day documentary “Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,“ based on the New York Times best-seller written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
Published: Originally published online inForbes as ‘The Power of Mentorship for Young African American Women’ by Amanda A. Ebokosia.
“There was no plan B. It was going to be this or I was going to fail.” Tamron Hall, Host of MSNBC’s The Newsnation
“Behind every successful person, there are groups of people working together. I fell in with a crowd that was exploring our experiences .” Sheryl Salomon, managing editor of The Root
If you haven’t heard of or attended The Root’sYoung, Fabulous & Femaleevent, you’ve missed out. With it’s aim to bring hundreds of young African American women together to discuss career challenges and offer practical advice from prominent women in business, the event gives aspiring professionals the resources they need to achieve straight from their role models. To learn more about the inspiration behind this event, I sat down with two great journalists, moderator Tamron Hall, host of MSNBC’s Newsnation and NBC Correspondent as well as Managing Editor of The Root, Sheryl Salomon. Here is my conversation with them.
Amanda Ebokosia: As a child growing up in a small community in Texas, did you always want to become a journalist? If you did not choose journalism what field would you be in?
Tamron Hall: “Yes, I always knew I was going to be a journalist. My father was in the military for 25 years –he was in the army– and my mom was an educator. I grew up watching the evening news. I’d jokingly say, “Was that our Johnny Carson ?” Those were the shows that I’d watch with my family. At the time, I did not realize it was (called) “interviewing” people but I’d go talk to people. I would go sit down with the 90-year-old lady at the end of my block and was so intrigued by everything she had to say,” said Hall “Being a kid everyone used to say that I was nosey. There was no plan B. It was going to be this or I was going to fail.”
Amanda Ebokosia: Many young women here at The Root’s Young Fabulous Female event are seeking mentors to provide career insight and opportunities. Did you have a particular mentor who really helped you when you first started?
Published: Originally published online inGlass Heel as ‘Saying Goodbye to Someday’ by Amanda A. Ebokosia.
Start Booming, the message etched across our notebooks read. The blue cover glistened as it made its debut on every table adorned with name cards and folders in our lecture room. My ticket, tucked away in my oversize bag, assured me that I was ready for this. My heart, not so much. It raced, skipped and would have done the Tango, if it could.
Grabbing my name tag, I glanced across the room. It was medium-sized and filled with incessant chatter of “Hellos”…..”…and what brings you here to this event?” it was a never-ending ribbon of introductions. I made my way to the pastry stand.
It may have been the sugar or the sweetness of cherry filled surprises that greeted my lips—a wave of calm enveloped me. “I was meant to be here today,” I thought.
In a room full of executives from mid-level to senior, sprinkled with emerging and serial entrepreneurs with grand ideas – I sat there in my seat ready to brace myself for what came next. A woman’s voice was heard. A professor of Cognition at Virginia University was making her opening remarks, leading us to what will be a full on transformative event.
The message was clear. We were all there for one thing. We wanted to see a change in our business and our ideas. From topic to topic we transitioned, taking short breaks for lunch and quick but meaningful pleasantries. By the end of the day, we knew everyone intimately by first names.
This morning I thought of the Jeff Bezos of our world. The ones who pitched their first ideas in crowded basements to their friends and their friends’ friends. The ones who saw a vision so pristine, yet so alien and unattainable to the most revered critic. The Jeff Bezos of the world who took their ideas out of hats— and made them lifelines to their existence.
Last night, the world was watching the news with bated breath to find out who would become the next leader of the free world. Was it going to be Governor Romney or President Obama? At 11:39 PM, it was announced that President Barack Obama had won a second term in presidency. In fact, he made history by becoming the third President in a row to be re-elected.
Let’s interview: Please answer the questions in the comments section. On Friday, I’ll post my favorite interviews on amanadaebokosia.com. Please forward a photo of yourself to email@example.com. I’ll post it if selected, and I’ll notify you if chosen. There is no need to confirm a receipt, my e-mail account is a catchall.
Question: Who are you? What is your profession?
Question: Did you watch the election and vote?
Question: Are you happy with the outcome of the election?
Question: Where were you last night at 11:39 PM, when it was reported that President Barack Obama, won a second term of presidency?
Question: How did that make you feel?
Question: When you think of the word power, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Question: How do you define power?
Question: Do you think the first family embodies, power?
Question: And lastly, what do you do to feel more powerful?
Missed the victory speech by President Barack Obama? Watch it below:
The ability to influence something or someone to help execute a (larger) project. “Larger” in the sense that the impact is so great that it could not have been accomplished if it were done by just one person. Leadership– real leadership is the ability to inspire those around you to invest their energy toward something greater than themselves. You’re working toward a shared vision, everyone is investing their time toward that thing.
Book: 48 Laws of Power Author: Robert Greene About 48 Laws of Power & Reading Schedule:HERE
About The Review: I’ll be reviewing a few lessons each day, following the reading schedule posted: HERE. I’ll then host a power workshop & discussion on December 4, 2011 at a tea restaurant in the city for those enrolled in my group.
In Robert Greene’s book he breaks down 48 laws, which he feels are necessary to attain the heights of power. He explores each law by analyzing the actions and consequences of historical public figures, who either practiced the law or went against the law. He does this best by dividing the book into ‘observance of the law’ and ‘transgression of the law.’
Observance of the Law: Event which highlights how power is increased.
Transgression of the Law: An event which highlights how power is decreased.
In my Review you’ll have the following:
The Law + Explanation
My favorite quotes for that chapter
Special Figures, Places, & Events
(+) Example & (-) Example in the book, which stands in place of observance & transgression of the law respectively
Disclaimer: This is a review of Robert Greene’s book. It’s not my ideas and thoughts. However, I believe there is some truth in a lot of the laws he
has noted and created.
LAW 1: “Never Outshine The Master”
Make those above you feel comfortable in their position, allow your desires for power be subtle.
Favorite Lessons “Special Quotes:”
[Preface] “Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. “ The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli, 1469-1527
Highlighted People/Figures/ Places:
Napoleon [Preface] – Place your iron hand inside a velvet glove
Niccolo Machiavelli [Preface]- Renaissance diplomat and courtier (Be good all the time, you’ll be ruined)
Janus: Roman Deity – [ 2 heads] You have to continuously look into your past and your future. You must plan ahead, and be alert always.
King Louis XIV- Former King of France
Nicolas Fouquet- Minister of Finance to Louis XIV
Jules Mazarin- Late Prime Minister (died 1661)
Jean-Baptiste Colbert: Man who succeeds Foquet as Minister of Finance (gave funds LouisXIV, then king built Versailles.)
Versailles: Palace built by Louis XIV in France after Foquet’s leave for solitary confinement at Pyrenees Mountains, located in France.
Galileo: Italian astronomer and mathematician
Cosimo I: Duke of Florence and known as the Grand Duke of Tuscany
Medicis: Political dynasty and banking family in Florence, Italy. It began in the 14 century–
(-) Example in Book: Nicolas Foquet was once a trusted and admired minister of finance to King Louis XIV. Due to several events, Foquet felt he was beginning to lose favor from the Louis XIV. In order to regain his bond, he held a lavish party to help ingratiate himself with the king. The King sentenced Foquet to several years of solitary confinement, his plan backfired. Louis XIV felt threatened and not honored by the noble intentions of Foquet. Foquet thought by excessively displaying his talents he was proving loyalty and not dishonor to his king.
(+)Example in Book: Galileo and many other scientists of his time had to request assistance to fund their research and get support through nobility. Upon a new discovery, he would gift his patrons in exchange of support. He and many other scientists grew always dependent and remained poor with this method, nobility often returned favor with gifts rather than cash. Galileo decided to focus on one nobility, the Medicis Dynasty, which included Cosimo I (Founder) and Cosimo II. He connected his discovery with the dynasty, allowing them to shine beyond the general population and other nobility. In result, Cosimo II offered Galileo a salary as his official court philosopher and mathematician.
LAW 2: “Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How To Use Your Enemies”
This law explains how one has to be more cautious with those who they call a friend. For friends have the sense of entitlement and are more vulnerable to weak emotions– like envy. However, known enemies that want to become friends, know they have more to prove and don’t engage expecting things in return (for in their mind they’re not deserving).
Favorite Lessons “Special Quotes”
“In one stroke, Sung turned a pack of “friendly” wolves , who would likely have betrayed him, into a group of docile lambs.” Robert Greene |Re: Emperor Sung after the Han Dynasty
“In speech Abraham Lincoln delivered at the height of the Civil War, he referred to the Southerners as fellow human beings who were in error. An elderly lady chastised him for not calling them irreconcilable enemies who must be destroyed.”- Robert Greene. “Why, madam,” Lincoln replied, “do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”
“…In the end skill and competence are far more important than friendly feelings.( Michael III had a man right under his nose who would have steered him right and kept him a live: That man was Bardas.” – Greene
Highlighted People/Figures/ Places:
Michael III – mid 9th century Emperor of Byzantine Empire
Empress Theodora- Michael III’s mother who was banished to a nunnery from conspiracy by Bardas
Theoctistus- Lover of the Empress who was murdered from conspiracy by Bardas
Bardas- Former Head of Army and Uncle of Michael III, who gets assassinated by Michael III’s best-friend, Basilius.
Basilius- Best-friend of Michael III, who assassinates Michael III after going from stable boy > Head of stables> Head of Army and with the
assignation, Emperor of Byzantine.
Eudoxia Ingerina – Michael III’s mistress, which was given to Basilius as a gift for him to marry.
Han Dynasty- Chinese Dynasty (A.D 222)
Emperor Sung- Initiated the Sung Dynasty
(-) Example in Book: Michael III was a young inexperienced emperor due to his Uncle, Bardas, who led a conspiracy which banished the Empress, Michael III’s mother, and murdered her lover. Michael III wanted someone who he could trust along side him. He gradually started to promote his trusted friend Basilius from stable boy > head of stable> to head of army. He granted every request by his friend Basilius, which included money. The emperor soon found that his friend accumulated more power than himself. The day Michael III asked for funds back from Basilius—he quickly learned his trusted friend was no longer a friend. Basilius conspired with his army to kill Michael III of Byzantine and claim his throne. He succeeded.
(+)Example in Book: After the Han Dynasty there led a series of patterns where an emperor of China was appointed as being one of the strongest generals within a group. Shortly his army of loyal generals would betray him for a seat of a crown, conspiring together to become Emperor. To be an emperor meant to rule alone and be among enemies, who disguised themselves as friends. General Chao K’uang-yin became Emperor Sung. He held an elaborate banquet for all the generals who he knew were plotting against him for his position. He gave them an offer to retire as nobleman with their own private estates and live a life of security. All accepted and Emperor Sung was able to live out his days in peace. The Sung dynasty ruled China for more than 300 years.
LAW 3: “Conceal Your Intentions”
This law explains how you should be careful on the amount of information you reveal to people about your future plans. Greene states, too much released information can allow those who are not in your favor have an opportune time to build a defense for it.
Favorite Lessons “Special Quotes”
“Do not be held a cheat, even though it is impossible to live today without being one. Let your greatest cunning lie in covering up what looks cunning.” – Baltasar Gracian, 1601-1658
Highlighted People/Figures/ Places:
Ninon de Lenclos – Imfamous courtesan of the 17th century of France. She was skilled in the arts of love and seduction. Men like La Rochefoucauld, Moliere, and Richelieu were all her lovers: the greatest writers, politicians, and thinkers of her time.
Marquis de Sevigne- A man who went to Ninon for guidance in seducing a young countess at age 22.
Otto von Bismark 1850- Former Deputy in the Prussian parliament
Prince William 1850- Was next in line as Prussia’s King
Frederick William IV 1850- Present King in 1850 of Prussia, opposed war for unification and wanted to appease the powerful Austrians.
(-) Example in Book: The marquis sought out the help of Ninon to seduce a young countess, whom he has fallen in love with. He was given a series of instructions to follow, and told to always conceal his intentions. The countess was falling for his ‘spell’ until the marquis decided to act on impulse and confess his love. Suddenly, all that he worked for was broken and the countess was not at all interested.
(+)Example in Book: In 1850, Otto Von Bismark was a deputy in the parliament of Prussia. He was for the war which would go against Austria, in support of the unification of Germany, like the general population at that moment — excluding the present king, Frederick William IV, and his ministers. He concealed his ultimate intention for war by giving a speech about peace and going against the ideas of war. In result, Bismark was promoted to a position which allow him to train his country’s army and ready them for war. In a few years Bismark went for war and accomplished his plans for unification of Germany under the leadership of Prussia. If Bismark had done followed through with war early—he and his army would have lost as they were not prepared to go against the powerful Austrians at that time.
Yesterday I went out with a friend/fellow partner of my organization, The Gem Project. We had the chance to talk about different managerial styles and communication within companies. I caught myself reflecting on the issues I’ve encountered from the inception of developing this project of ours, The Gem Project. It has really left me grounded, while providing me with a wealth of patience and understanding. Communication is a really BIG thing in my management style, I discovered. I don’t think it is necessary to remind those you work with of your role as ‘president.’ It should be felt, not necessarily spoken. I find that EGOS and everything else should be left at the door, if you wish to have a harmonious work environment. We refer to everyone as lead because that is the way we function. We all lead in some aspect or division. There is a sense of community delivering a wide range of growth. We are changing together. My Aha is I don’t really say “President” often, we say lead. The key to delivering the best work is to always feel like you’re auditioning. You always have something to work on, no matter how high up you’re in the hierarchy of power. You always have to audition for that role. The role you have now is highly sought, make no mistakes about that.
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, is a passionate teacher of engaging, financial empowerment. She started her own financial consulting company called, CLD Financial Life LLC. CLD Financial Life was created to help others master their money. Her book, The One Week Budget, shows readers how to make frugal, FABULOUS and teaches them how to do more with less. She’s a regular contributor to Munaluchi Bridal Magazine, NY Trends Newspaper and well as a number of other publications. You can also see her in the February 2011 issue of ESSENCE Magazine. ” | Source: thebudgetnista.biz
The Budgetnista has been on a mission to enlighten and encourage people to be on the right path of financial wellness. Through her consulting company, CLD Financial Life LLC., Aliche has developed numerous financial literacy workshops, financial parties, and now recently a book, “The One Week Budget.” Tiffany and I have been in talks of having her meet a few ladies from my empowerment group. We decided to have a modest dinner social at the famous Sylvia’s Restaurant. Needless to day, the menu did not disappoint. We opened the program with an inspired “Budgetnista game” as an ice breaker. We even gladly displayed our coupons to our server to receive a complimentary side order from Sylvia’s. We made FRUGAL fabulous, while learning about her book “The One Week Budget.”
“The One Week Budget,” written by Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, is more than your typical “self-help” financial budgeting book. It is a pleasurable read that allows you to develop a system that anyone can follow in just one week. You will read about real life situations on financial mistakes and victories from Tiffany. You will not be alone in this process! She created Bella, a friendly character that will work alongside with you creating a budget. Bella also reveals some tips!Take the time to enjoy and start saving. Don’t just take my advice! Make sure you follow this soon to be millionaire next door, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche! Visit her website, she offers a free sample chapter before your purchase.
Amanda A. Ebokosia is contributor and organizer of The A. E. Empire, a sisterhood empowerment network of hundreds of women. She is founder and CEO of The Gem Project, Inc. The Gem Project, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that educates school-age children, youth, and young adults about issues that are affecting them and their communities. Through the use of innovative programs and enriching activities, the Gem Project hones and strengthens the leadership and community organizing skills of our youth. Ebokosia is also a freelance writer on relationships, entrepreneurship, power, leadership, and education. The complications of female platonic relationships and research that posits best-friends are unlikely , is one of her written works that helped define her interest in speaking on relationships and its diversity.