Power of Performance: Leadership at the Next Level

JoAnn Rolle, Ph.d.,
3 min readApr 6, 2020

This year history was made when the annual conferences of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and Prospanica (the Association of Hispanic Professionals merged together to deliver a stunning and inspiring event.

The inaugural “Black Think Roundtable” engaged thought leaders from industry, government, and education to discuss the challenge of increasing underrepresented populations in the C-Suite. Damon Williams, Ph.D. was the keynote speaker and delivered several strategies for the group to contemplate before working in pre-assigned teams.

1. The Perfection dilemma

2. Assessments of the authentic self

3. Avoid becoming twisted in the “game”

4. There is no chance to fall up-ward

5. Senior Executives are more comfortable with those who are like them

6. Lack of Board diversity & accountability for inclusion

7. Some under-represented persons have the double burden of race and gender

8. There is a need to demystify the path the C-Suite

9. Need for high caliber coaching

10. Need to increase sponsors with political capital

11. Leaders must have passion, purpose, growth mindset and grit

After the keynote address, approximately 150 leaders divided into 15 teams with specific assignments to develop strategies to increase capacity building of diverse talent in government, education, and industry. A wide range of strategic solutions was proposed which the organization plans to publish in January in the first state of the Black Professional Report.

Also of note was the Kellogg Foundation’s research and community development work on healing communities through the sharing of stories. Three facilitators condensed a one-day workshop into a powerful 40-minute session of storytelling during lunch. There were tears. There was laughter. At the end of lunch, there was joy in experiencing the process with strangers who now were closer bonded by their stories.

JoAnn Rolle, Ph.d.,

JoAnn Rolle, Ph.D., Dean of Business at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY) is an economist and international keynote speaker.