This was an outstanding week, capped off by the ELC Winter Meeting (recap here if you’re interested) . For those not familiar with the ELC, it is The Executive Leadership Council, which is a national organization comprised of current and former African-American CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 500 and equivalent companies. For more than 25 years, the ELC has worked to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline and to empower African-American corporate leaders to make significant and impactful contributions in the global marketplace and their communities.
I have been a member for about a year now. I was introduced to the ELC by a number of folks, but it was my good friend Billy Dexter that shepherded me through the process of joining.
In attending the event, it was still remarkable to me that out of the Fortune 500 companies, currently only 132 are represented within the ELC and that more people would not take advantage of the opportunity. I say for two main reasons: 1) I believe it is invaluable to find such a unique peer group which whom you can share, learn and journey with quite frankly. As we all have probably experienced, finding people you genuinely have something in common with, in and of itself, can be a gift. But to find that, along with a shared sense of purpose, the challenges ahead and a willingness to help each other is truly unique. 2) I believe is the opportunity to do business with each other, where practical and create mutual success. For most professions, at senior levels, relationships truly matter as you work to structure new business deals. The ELC provides an opportunity for its members to turn networking, into business, in a more accelerated manner.
Hats off to the ELC for the Winter Meeting!