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Topic: Diversity

How to turn intentions into action

15 Percent Pledge’s Aurora James

In May 2020, as companies began making promises about how they’d help Black-owned businesses, Aurora James launched the 15 Percent Pledge with an Instagram post. Tagging major retailers, she declared that 15% of retail shelf space should belong to Black-owned businesses. Learn the tactics and strategies that allowed one small, dedicated effort to unlock $10 billion in revenue.

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How to lead for enduring impact

Spelman College’s Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell

Your ability to make quick decisions in the face of a crisis can define your career. That’s been the case for Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, the now-retired president of Spelman College, the all-women’s HBCU in Atlanta. To solve complex conflicts, she stresses one point above all: listen. Dr. Campbell demonstrates how consistent leadership builds confidence and resilience.

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Scaling a mission

The Asian American Foundation’s Sonal Shah

“Hate is not a one-community issue,” says Sonal Shah, president of The Asian American Foundation. Launched in May 2021 to address discrimination against Asian Americans, TAAF raised $1 billion in its first few weeks – and is now grappling with what all startups face: how to iterate fast, pivot, lose what’s not working, and scale what is working, fast.

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Podcast: Episode 70: Must Listen

How to sell without selling

Nike’s Phil Knight

Great branding is about identity – and it’s about matchmaking too. No one knows this better than the legendary co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight. When he and his partner, Hall of Fame track coach Bill Bowerman, started the sneaker company, they never tried to force-feed customers a product just to drive up the bottom line. They focused on one thing: making an excellent product for people who believed in the edgy Nike ethos. Because they knew, when there’s a mismatch between product and market, the bottom usually drops out. Instead, they told the world who the are, and then did everything they could to find their ideal customers. And made history. Cameo appearance: Eddy Lu (GOAT).

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A new playbook for new times

Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker

“This was like 1918, 1929 and 1968 in one week,” says Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, with pandemic, economic crisis, and civil unrest all coming together after George Floyd’s death. Walker’s advice to CEOs mixes clear-eyed messages with optimism about the opportunities ahead.

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How business can engage against racism

MetricStream & Nordstrom’s Shellye Archambeau

What can your business do right now in the struggle against racism? More than you think, says Shellye Archambeau, former CEO of MetricStream, now a board member at Verizon, Nordstrom and Okta. The struggle is a marathon, but businesses are uniquely poised to demand accountability and transparency from their communities.

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Podcast: Episode 50: Must Listen

Find your Trojan horse (live)

Vista Equity Partners’ Robert F. Smith

Every great founder has a second purpose — something outside their main business they’re trying to get done in the world. And every successful company is like a Trojan Horse, carrying this second purpose forward. No one knows this better than Robert F. Smith. You may know him for his legendary Morehouse commencement speech (in which he promised to pay off the student loan debt of the entire graduating class), but Robert’s scaling success and philanthropic work go far beyond that. As founder, chair, and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert finds profound ways to serve both his business and his second purpose — liberating people to reach their true potential — at scale. Recorded live at Summit LA 2019.

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Podcast: Episode 36: Must Listen

Check your blindspot

Ellevest’s Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck knows: Companies dominated by one type of person run the risk of tunnel vision. You might move fast – but you’ll often drive straight into traps. Truly scalable companies need a diverse portfolio of viewpoints to see the opportunities others miss. From her Wall Street years to her new startup Ellevest, Sallie makes the business case for diversity of all kinds.

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