I was supposed to have written this initial post back in January (it’s now March 11). The past few weeks have been filled with meetings, proposals, strategic planning, determining budgets, working out with a personal trainer, travel, and working on start-ups (while also giving up alcohol for Lent). I have been “focused” to say the least. I have been thinking of various blog posts but just haven’t sat myself down long enough to write. So, as I sit here, I have to reflect on my past day.
I am from and reside in Detroit (metro-Detroit). If you’re from the area, your day’s plans were interrupted by the verdict of the Kwame Kilpatrick trial. I have super mixed feelings on the whole thing…while I think that justice has been served for the ruthlessness of his actions (and Bobby Ferguson), I also think about the realities of politics. I’m sure that many of things that went on while he was in office have gone on before him, are going on today, and will continue after his demise. Regardless, his will be serving his time.
I then thought back to the start of my career. One of my earliest positions was working for the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee. I worked in the Governmental & External Affairs Department. Many of my projects involved the Emerging Business program (the NFL procurement process), community relations, the general public and working with City Council and Mayor’s Office (among others). I witnessed first hand the arrogance and “entitlement mentality” that some of these elected officials had (I must say none of these individuals were from Kwame Kilpatrick’s office). I also witnessed (and truly admire) others who held way more wealth and power not show an once of arrogance (Roger Penske). I learned A LOT while in that position, to say the least.
Over the past few years, I have seen some of these elected officials and their staffers (who were outright rude to me), go through the judicial system, serve their time, and come out. I have also seen the evolution of other young professionals, such as myself, who worked in the same environments as me at the time, grow and be great at what they do. I spoke to my Mom about Kwame Kilpatrick today and she talked about how much of a great man he is/was; from intelligence, power, charisma and other qualities, but that his ego got him into this position.
As an entrepreneur, who is experiencing success, I must say that today was a reality check. I am always looking at myself, determining ways of being better and making sure I stay truly humble. However, the events of today are a further representation of the importance of as my Grandmother would say “don’t get too big for your britches”. I will also look at myself, and ask others to do the same, to ensure that I remain focused, honest, “hungry”, faithful and humble. I hope those reading this do the same.
“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” –John Wooden