COACHING WHILE BLACK
There’s perhaps no more entrepreneurial employment position in any industry than to be an athletic coach. You make the plans, run the routines, and set the culture. Dawn Staley, Carolyn Peck, Yolett McPhee-McCuin, Vanessa Blair-Lewis & Felisha Legette-Jack talk about the self leadership and vision required to be a female African American coach. In this round table, they set aside their competition with each other on the court, to fight against the history of a predominately white male position. Think about how you can break out in your role against the competition.
Felisha says “It’s embedded in me that any day it’s gonna be our time to lead. Because we’re replaceable.” If what makes a coach irreplaceable is winning championships, what would make you irreplaceable in your field, with your audience or your clients?
Dawn says, “The biggest challenge you face is perception, other people’s perception” and that by being a female black coach she was “fighting against a history”. Everyone deals with embedded assumptions, so if you can’t “look the part” for your audience, how will you defy their expectations?