Innovating a Progressive Workplace – Ep.33

Inspiring Social Impact – Ep.32
July 28, 2021
Colorful Communication – Ep.34
November 3, 2021

David C. Williams joins the podcast to discuss his innovative solution that helped lead AT&T employees through the Covid-19 pandemic and shares his involvement in organizing programs that support DEI outreach.

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to The Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around diversity, inclusion, and equity. Each week I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share, or is actively part of building solutions in this space. Let’s get started.

Doing these podcasts has really allowed me to meet a variety of just fabulous people that I don’t think I would have ever met had I not had this platform. So I am grateful and this week is no different. I am having the pleasure of bringing David C. Williams to the podcast. And David C. Williams is an innovator, a mentor, a speaker, a champion for diversity and inclusion. In 2021, he was awarded the Rodney Adkins Legacy Award for his innovation in creating a solution at AT&T that enabled 40,000 people to work from home securely and permanently.

In 2018, he invented technology that has driven $300 million in operating income at AT&T. He holds a patent that connects satellite and LTE technologies. He has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Dallas Baptist University. He is project management professional, also has a Six Sigma Green Belt, and robotics process automation certifications. In his current role, David is responsible for emerging technology to transform customer employee experience and cost structure for his organization at AT&T. He’s a proud mentor of multiple employee groups, a diversity ambassador, AT&T Champion of Diversity Award winner, and founder of AT&T’s annual Our ERG Thing, which reaches globally to bring employees from different backgrounds, celebrate diversity, and help others. All right. So David C. Williams, I am excited to have you with us this week.

David C. Williams:  Same here, I’m excited as well.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. So I am excited to learn more about you, and maybe you can just kick us off with telling us a little bit about how you got to where you are today. Take me on the journey, you know?

David C. Williams:  Yeah. So if you want to professionally, just do the career or are you talking all in-

Melyssa Barrett:  Hey. Give it, give it all to me. All in. I’m all in.

David C. Williams:  All right. So I am a Dallas native born in south Dallas. I was a pretty tough part of the city. Start off with very humble beginnings, and life took a turn very young for me. My father committed suicide. I was just six years old. So that made life a lot different for my mother and my sister and I. I learned to grow up a little bit, start to try to take on chores and doing things to help the family. At one point, my mom started to work a lot of overtime because she wanted me to go to private school, and there was a private school in south Dallas. It was a really poor one, but, and so she had me do this thing where I would catch the bus and go to school and I’d live on a budget. And one day I figured out I could sell candy at school and double my money.

So instead of working on a budget, I was able to help out and help Mom. And then on Friday, like every other kid, I wanted two slices of pizza. And so that was probably the beginning of my business model working. Go through high school and try different jobs. I started working at a company called SBC. They had a tuition reimbursement program, and so they funded my college degree and so forth. And in that role, I started off non-management. I met a lady named Linda Jackson who became like a work mom. She was the first professional corporate mentor I ever had. Black lady, I love her to death. She exposed me to so many things that I just had no clue about, different upper echelons, and office culture and decorum, and just all sorts of things that a six year old boy who didn’t have a father understands about a shirt, tie, pocket scarf combination. These things matter.

And so with that exposure and the hunger that I had, I just kept pursuing things. And so I moved from one department to another of networks, broad band, to the data centers. I just kept going and going. And at every job I worked on, I just got like, I would always bring more than 100% because I believe the competition was out there trying to beat us. That methodology, that philosophy of working has just carried me a long way. Over time I’ve invented a few patents, champion of diversity awards, diversity ambassador, Black Engineer of the Year Legacy Award recipient. And so it’s been a good ride. I’ve had a lot of different roles. Chief of Staff and worked in social media and competitive intelligence. So it’s been a varied journey of experience, and I’ve learned a lot, met a lot of great people along the way.

And through all of that, I would say I’ve had two professional goals. One is to mentor because mentoring has been everything for me. And then two is to go do something of large significance because it’s hard for little black and brown kids to really connect with MLK or Abraham Lincoln. You know, MLK has no idea what Instagram is, right? And so I wanted to be someone that maybe they could connect with. “Hey, he came from the same neighborhood. He ate the same food, wears the same clothes, and he did these amazing things. I can go do that, too.” So that’s-

Melyssa Barrett:  That is awesome. Yes. And just for everybody listening, David is actually wearing a shirt, a jacket, and he has a handkerchief in his pocket. So, just to kind of give people a visual. So-

David C. Williams:  I learned.

Melyssa Barrett:  So mentorship and the importance of mentorship. I totally agree. I had a person in my life, as well, when I worked at Citibank, who literally, Ida, Ida B. Jones was her name. She literally pulled me under her wing, black woman, and told me about investing and making sure that you set up your 401k and don’t get the payout on your stock, like reinvest. I mean, changed my life. So the importance of mentorship, I think really can not be underestimated. Can you talk a little bit about just some of the things that you’re doing in terms of ERGs, and the work that you have embarked upon. I mean, you talked a little bit about some of the awards I’m looking forward to hearing more about the Our ERG Thing. Because if you’re the mastermind, I want to hear how that all came about.

David C. Williams:  Yeah. AT&T does a really good job of intentionally pushing diversity and inclusion. They tie it to our higher exec’s compensation. There are, there’s a ton of collateral. They’ve really made it frictionless for any employee to join an employee group. You know, back in the day you had to pay membership dues, AT&T, the corporation, just took care of all of that stuff, and empower those groups to be in existence and flourish in the things that they’re doing. And so AT&T probably has about 60 different employee resource groups. When I think about it, there’s, you know, it started off with groups that were affinity groups like Hispanic, Asian, Filipino, Black, LGBTQ, et cetera, veterans, et cetera. But it expanded into things like women of finance, project managers, women of business, different things like that, parents at work, et cetera. So you put all that together with all of our different companies and subsidiaries.

There’s about 50 or 60 of those. And one year I was asked to be the Diversity Ambassador for Anne Chow, who is this female, Asian CEO of AT&T Business. In that role, I was just thinking about how do we take this opportunity and bring these employee groups together. They all do great things on their own, but how can we bring them together? There was a marketing strategy at the time that AT&T was running, Our Thing Is Your Thing. And so we pulled up a name together and called it Our Employee Groups Thing, Our ERG Thing, and with that we got every employee group together and said, “We’re going to do this in as many cities as possible. And each city, every group is invited to participate in the same event.” And so in Dallas, we had 20 or 30 groups together, Kansas City, all over the country.

There were 24 cities altogether. We had a couple over in the UK. Slovakian [inaudible 00:09:18]. On the week that we had this event, people would come together having different events in San Ramon, there was a book drive, in Kansas City it was something for the veterans, in Atlanta we had something for the homeless. All of these groups would come together around one idea and they would all partner to have that event. And so they were huge, right? One employee group can do a nice amount of work, all of them together? Huge. And so in one week we drove over a thousand new memberships, people signed up, over 10,000 items donated. It was amazing. Or 1600 people signed up, excuse me, over 10,000 items donated. It was amazing. And so the following year, we did it again and the numbers increased. We picked up another thousand employees, members, another 15,000 donated items. And I’m talking stuff from each beach cleanups on every coast of the United States.

I mean, just the most amazing event. In 2020 we had an issue where, because of COVID, we couldn’t physically get together. And so we still wanted to have the event. So what we did was, that was my last year as ambassador, serving for Anne at the time, and we said, “Look, if we can’t do it physically, let’s do it virtually.” And we built a digital wall on Twitter. It Was the first digital wall AT&T created on social media. And we had people from all over join social media and tell us, what is your thing? And during the pandemic, your thing may be totally different. You may be helping someone with their groceries across the street, you maybe helping a neighbor mow their yard. You may be taking your kids out for a walk so they can see some nature, right? And get away from being inside the house so much, right? There’s so many things. At any rate that week we generated 11.6 million Twitter impressions, which is just huge. It’s just huge.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. That is awesome. You are literally, I have like goosebumps right now because the reverb on, you know, you talk about do something of large significance. And your capacity to kind of create solutions that really engage, but also kind of really think about people where they are and how to bring them through. I mean, the pandemic, I mean, I don’t even know where to start with the pandemic. I don’t even think we’re going to know what life has been affected for years, but it’s so encouraging to hear about such wonderful things that are going on and so many creative ideas.

David C. Williams:  Well, one thing to add to that, too, is, you know, I believe… So I worked at technology and automation. And we hear about black and tech and there’s this shortage of Black people in tech and people of color in tech, and there is. But I want to speak to this one point on that, is that I also believe that coming from the community that I come from, I’ve grown up on a mantra of making a dollar out of 15 cents, and that is a transferable skill. And so the way I approach problems, the way I think about problems, I bring what Big Mama and Mom and all those folks taught me as a child to the forefront. I take that into work with me.

And so looking at a situation like that, I’m engaging what’s important to the folks who are going to have to participate. What is the objective of this entire goal? What’s even possible? Have a little empathy on the people who are going through some stuff, and find the golden thread that weaves through all of that. That’s typically how I’m looking at things. And I learned that from my mother and my aunts, my grandmother, people in the communities that I grew up with. Obviously that stuff was refined with mentorship, but it started in those places.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. That’s awesome. So can you, since we’re talking about technology, can you also talk a little bit about the solution that you invented? That’s driving $300 million in operating income. I mean, come on, shed some light.

David C. Williams:  Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I’ve invented a few things over the years. There was one where I felt like I had a Jerry Maguire moment, right. And the next morning I go talk to my vice president about it, and he was a pretty daring guy, Dr. Ron Highland. And so he was all in, and this invention was a decision engine that helps with the amount of revenue or revenue leakage that occurs throughout the billing cycle. Sometimes there’s things wrong with it bills and so forth. There was a lot of human interaction with that, and decisioning that was going on with that, that was inconsistent with how it really needed to occur. And so I was able to figure out a way to solve for that, and by doing so, by instituting that, if that project ran as, I don’t know, a little north of $6 million to implement, it was about $119 million, the first year benefits. The year after that was $175 million, in 2020. It was a pretty big effort. There’s about 60,000 that people use that today. And so it’s been wildly successful. Yeah. That was a big one.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. That’s awesome. Congratulations.

David C. Williams:  Thank you.

Melyssa Barrett:  Now, the other thing, I think, because today you’re responsible for emerging technology, is that right?

David C. Williams:  Yes. Automation. That is right.

Melyssa Barrett:  And you know, the customer… And I noticed that AT&T has customer slash employee experience in the role. And so when you talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, you get the immediate sense that AT&T is not only just focused on the customer and many customers that you have, but I think you told me it was like 250,000 employees at ATT. Is that right?

David C. Williams:  Yeah. It’s a small city. Or a medium sized city.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. My city is not that large. So we only got about 85,000 people here.

David C. Williams:  Yeah. So AT&T does a really good job of, you know, there’s a mantra that we started a long time ago that says, “Our workforce needs to look like the communities in which we serve.” And our leadership’s been intentional, intentional about trying to drive that culture, that sure there is still work to be done, but I do applaud the intentional directive on trying to close that gap and being vocal about it. Right. It’s not under the table. It’s on top of the table. It’s open for us to discuss. And there’s certain efforts that we have in the company. There’s this one thing I think about called [DYING 00:16:29]. I can’t think of what the letters are going to mean, the acronym, but it’s where we bring a group of folks together, all diverse backgrounds, and we have lunch. And we talk about our unique backgrounds.

At the end of those meetings. It’s probably been like 10 or 15,000 of those meetings across our company. At the end of that meeting, typically what happens is everyone realizes that you’re much more alike than different. And so you may have someone who’s a first-line manager and someone who’s an officer. You may have every level in between, and as folks start talking about being a step parent or going through other challenges, health issues, et cetera, those levels and titles fade away very, very quickly. And you realize that we’re much, much more alike than we are different. And so from that, I think that opens up an entirely different vantage point so that we’re not trying to operate from tolerating our coworker versus understanding our coworker.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. That’s deep. So, how have things evolved from a diversity, equity, and inclusion experience? I’m guessing that even in whether it’s AT&T or in your own community, you have likely been impacted by the George Floyd murder and, and all of the things that happened since then, and the momentum both before and after, and that continues. Are there things that you have experienced that have, you have been involved in that you think people should focus on?

David C. Williams:  Yeah. I would say so, on a positive note, there are a couple of programs that come to mind within AT&T. There’s a Dream in Black program that AT&T championed. And once a year during Black Future Month, the month of February, they will select 28 people of color and celebrate them and the accomplishments that they’ve made, or the efforts that they make in the community to drive a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture. So that’s one. There’s also another effort AT&T’s been doing where they have a couple levels of what we call the Extraordinary Black Leadership Experience. And so they saved some of the top talent of people of color, and put them in a special program and it helps them to get more access and visibility, exposure to leaders. There’s workshops to learn more about brushing up on certain things about whether it’s asking for more compensation during a job transition or other topics, right?

And so that’s a wonderful, those are two wonderful programs that I think AT&T’s got behind. I’ve experienced some things personally. I’ve been in the Dream in Black, I’ve been in the EBL lead program. I even made a comment after the George Floyd effort, and AT&T really supported that. There were a few of us, a few black men, that went out and had something to say around that topic during that time, and our human resources groups, our diversity, inclusion groups, helped all of us through that, whether it was just having a soundboard to talk to about what was going on, or different ways to get a message out. They were supportive in that. And then I don’t know if you call it luck or just a blessing, but AT&T took my Twitter post and put it in a commercial that went on the Soul Train Music Awards so that was pretty cool as well.

On the other end of that, on the negative side, what happened to George Floyd is so tragic. And he’s not the first, you know, a lot of folks have talked about this stuff. It’s just with George there were cameras. So people could see it, but you know, this tension, this abuse, these things have happened many, many times before. We’ve seen the Rodney King tapes, even the testimony from those folks and all of that. It makes it very difficult in the world that we’re in to have that kind of tension. And what’s the strangest piece of it all to me is that George Floyd happened right at the end of what we thought was the end of the pandemic. We have problems so big that they are beyond black and white. Our problems are like World War II.

I think they said more people die from the pandemic than in the last world war. Okay. In a world war race means nothing, right? This is about coming together for a common goal and common good. And so we’re in those times, there’s just not B-52 bombers flying in the sky, but we’re still in that kind of era. And the problems we’re facing are way bigger than black and white, and we have to figure out a way to really put that behind us because we’re just… That our lifetime, our span of human existence has really gone beyond where racism needs to be. It is in the way.

At one point it was the way people lived, and it was the only way you could identify somebody with dark life, you know, whatever, whatever. We’re more politically correct. We’re more refined and understanding of things and we’re just beyond it. And so for those that’s still subscribed to it, unfortunately, the walls are closing in, not fast enough, but I firmly believe that those that subscribe to a diverse and inclusive company, culture, community will succeed because you have more ideas to come up with better solutions to whatever problem you’re dealing with.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely.

David C. Williams:  And that’s just it. We have issues. We have solutions that we need the best ones to solve this.

Melyssa Barrett:  Very well said.

David C. Williams:  Right. Everyone’s ready for COVID to be over.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, indeed. Yes we are. And you know, that just tells you, though, the massive global scale, how small the world really is. We need each other, and we need to eliminate the color combination, and really get down to the human combination. Right? I mean, we are all human.

David C. Williams:  And even within our own, you know, there’s racism from two sides, right? There’s racism from outside of our race and that’s for anyone’s race. And then there’s racism within our race. Again, anyone’s race. And that internal racism, we call it colorism, and it’s time for that to end too, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely.

David C. Williams:  I often say this, I say that black people haven’t come far enough. None of us have come far enough that all of us aren’t a little concerned or worried when we get pulled over. And so none of us have come so far that we need to be looking down our nose at any other. We’re not there yet. Right. We need to still work together. We can push the unity button.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely. I love the unity button. That’s my first principle of Kwanzaa, you know, that’s like, that’s my big thing. Let’s pause for a moment. We’ll be right back. So, then in terms of, I know you have so many things going on, and maybe you can talk a little bit about, you know, in the midst of a pandemic, being the black engineer of the year, and that’s focused on STEM Global. I think you guys have a STEM Global Competitiveness Conference.

David C. Williams:  Right.

Melyssa Barrett:  So what was that like? Kind of talk us through what that’s like because, as you mentioned, black men in tech is challenging, right? I mean there’s a shortage.

David C. Williams:  There is. Yeah. So there is a nationwide event that all corporations participate in, or many corporations participate in. And it is the Black Engineer of the Year STEM Global Competitiveness Conference. And from all around the world candidates are submitted. And I was the recipient of one of the legacy awards at that conference. And it was amazing. I had created a solution during the pandemic that enabled 40,000 people from around the world to be able to work from home securely in telecommunication. If you work from home, you can’t have access to like credit card, date of birth, social security number, that kind of stuff. So I figured out a way for our agents to be able to work from home, not be exposed to that information, and still help process those transactions. You can imagine how many law offices want to get their paralegals equipped with cell phones, for the shelter in place.

How many hospitals, how many, so many people and companies were trying to get connected. And there was just a bottleneck. And so we were able to solve for that. Think that’s what’s been over the roof, along with the other $300 million deal. It was amazing. I had four CEOs write letters of recommendation. Two from outside of our company and around the world, actually. John Stankey, our CEO, wrote a letter of recommendation. The selection panel was all the engineering deans from the HBCUs, Lockheed Martin, and US Black Engineer and Information Technology Magazine. That was the selection panel. They selected me. I won and I jumped through the roof. Literally. It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. Well, you deserve it. That’s fantastic. I’m so glad to see you celebrate it. So I know you have told me that you are embarking on some new things, and I know you have a book coming along. So do you want to tell us a little bit about how you were inspired to write the book, and tell us all about it?

David C. Williams:  Yeah. So the inspiration from the book came from a few things. One was I really wanted to try to explain a little bit about what we were just talking about, how that whole COVID pandemic thing was solved for that led to that Black Engineer of the Year effort, or recognition. I do a tech Tuesday once a month, and I go to underserved communities so I can show some of these kids, here’s what a Black Engineer of the Year recipient looks like, here is, let me teach you about solar panels and technology, and show you something totally different than, you know, you may not be exposed to. So that was some of the premise of what started the book. The book itself encapsulates things from my childhood, and growing up in south Dallas, and lessons I’ve learned from so many people. I talk about this stuff.

I went to school and started the whole business mind, and I go through a number of different experiences. And what the book is bringing together is to say that, you know, the name of the book is You Are A Business Model. And the way that works is if you bring your past experiences, and you combine that with your passions, your professional passions, and you create your own business model. And when you do that, then you really are set up. You’re positioned for success. There’s almost no way you can’t win because your experience, however varied or unique it is, is yours and you know it the best. And your community or wherever it is that you live and operate. When you take that with whatever gets your blood pumping, you put those two things together. I believe one-and-one together makes 11. And that’s how you get to the, you know, further, faster. That’s the cheat codes.

So that’s what the book is about. You know, I hit a lot of different topics. I talk to some CEOs, and I’ve had some conversations with them, and so some of that’s there. And one of the big things that I think someone asked me the other day was what made me feel like I could go solve that pandemic level effort. And that was around March, April when that happened. Just before that in February, my sister had been diagnosed with stage four cancer and had like 30 or 40 tumors in her abdomen. God blessing us, the surgery went well, 100% of the cancer was removed. She didn’t even need chemo. Right. Talk about a miracle, right? And so when I saw God move that mountain, I was completely convinced for the rest of my life, there is absolutely no mountain that He cannot move. And so from there, the pandemic was batter up. Let’s go get it.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s awesome. Well, and it goes to the mindset, right? This like, “If you think you can do it, you can in fact do it.”

David C. Williams:  Yes.

Melyssa Barrett:  Because, you know, God will open doors and do all sorts of things that you don’t even expect.

David C. Williams:  Even though life is tough, the universe really is pulling for you to be successful. It really is.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely. So when is the book coming out? Do we know? It’s sometime this year, maybe?

David C. Williams:  Yes, it is this year. We’re trying to get it out around Thanksgiving. So hopefully I have a stocking stuffer.

Melyssa Barrett:  Awesome. That sounds great. Well, I will definitely be ordering the book, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about you as the business model. I think the other thing that you had talked to me about was that you feel like you maybe were, have been an anomaly in, kind of your career path is a little bit of an anomaly. And I know you talk about mentorship and how important it is, but I have to believe with all of the things you’ve told us today that you also, especially now, have lots of sponsors that are actually advocating for you when you may not be in the room. So can you, what are you, so talk a little bit about some of the doors that have closed on you, and how you were able to maneuver through that in your career.

David C. Williams:  Yeah. You know, wow. You bring up a good point. I’ve had some amazing sponsors, but I’ve also been, you know, I had periods of my career, and even while things were successful outside looking in, where sponsorship was tough to attain. And a lot of my sponsors may have been folks that were not the same race as myself, you know, or same gender, right? I do the best that I can to not close any doors on myself. That’s the first thing. And treat everyone, no matter what color you are, equally. So when I think about doors that were closed, oh my gosh, I’ve been through some tough challenges. I’m an assistant vice president right now. I was a director for nine years. That’s a long time to sit in that role, and at the same time, while I was sitting there, I wasn’t just being idle and I was doing everything I could.

And so I was like hypo in four different business units. I’ve changed jobs three or four times. I wrote a couple of patents during that time, or one patent during that time. And I think I was a recipient of the Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award at the time. I stayed busy just learning and doing different things. Even though the doors may not have been opening for me, I was doing everything I could so at the moment I could get a door to crack open, I’d be like, “Oh.” Here’s all these things, right. Here’s a great candidate. Right? I think that life moves in waves. And so when the doors aren’t opening, it’s no time to be idle and sit on your hands, or complaining and upset and negative. If anything, you have to take that time and say, “All right, the door isn’t open right now, but it’s going to open.”

And the next time that door opens, I want to blow that door off the hinges. So instead of just opening this door, we’re going to like knock the whole wall down. And so that’s the way I think about things, right? I take that philosophy to heart, and hence the patent, hence the $300 million, hence the Our ERG. Every opportunity I get I am trying to bring every, muster every bit of resources and power I can to go do something absolutely phenomenal because I want to leave a mark on the world. That’s my ultimate goal.

It’s not about how much money I’m making, all that. That stuff will come. And if you’re focused on money, that’s really not the biggest thing to focus on. That’s not the biggest success. Money’s great and wealth is wonderful, but making an impact on people’s lives, changing this world for the better, right? That’s the higher calling. And so that’s kind of where I’ve just been focused on and it’s turned out pretty well. I still have some runaway. I don’t spend on stopping. You know, the C-suite or something may be calling me at some point. So we’ll just keep pushing, but until then on the little shot, just keep shooting.

Melyssa Barrett:  I love it. I love it. Well C-suite so let’s go to the C-suite. I have had lots of conversations with C-suite executives lately. And one of the big questions that I keep hearing them ask is, “What can we do? What more can we do?” So do you have any thoughts, or words of advice, that you might want to give to the C-suite right now? That maybe will help them move in the right direction?

David C. Williams:

Sure. When folks make it to that level, you’re talking about some of the brightest minds, folks that know how to navigate, network, the political waters, people that have really high financial acumen. They’ve hit 100 home run grand slams over their careers. So it’s not much of those folks are missing. If anything I would say, I would say I’ve had some one-on-ones with CEOs. I think every person in the C-suite should be mindful that if you found someone that you believe is worth mentoring or talking to, they probably need to also take on the responsibility of ensuring that that person doesn’t suffer from any retaliation. Just being honest. In the corporate America, face time at the C-suite is highly coveted and everybody’s not happy about somebody else getting it, not themselves. And so that’s just the reality. I don’t think every person in the C-suite is looking out for that because they’re just kind of moving on doing their thing.

David C. Williams:  I think there’s a little bit of that that they have to mind for because if you’re an L-3 and you meet with someone in the C-suite, and there’s some L-5’s or something that’s not too happy about it, there’s nothing you’re going to be able to do. Right? I think in the seat, the other thing I might say is, there are programs that are set up to try to succession programs and they kind of a white glove, certain candidates and folks through. They believe these are the next folks that are going to make it and so forth. I think as a CEO, most of the time, their job, their day job, is looking at what isn’t on the page.

Sure, here’s the company, but what’s the extra piece that’s not on the page that it’s going to be our next revenue engine or et cetera. And so as a CEO or someone in the C-suite looking for what’s not being said, what’s not on the page, I think they also have to look at those programs and say, “What challenge is not here.” And often the talent that’s not there is a talent it doesn’t fit the mold. It’s the talent that is the anomaly. It is the Albert Einstein, you know, failed the sixth grade. Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. Steph Curry couldn’t hardly get into a good, a D-1 school, you know, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The list goes on. I think as someone in the C-suite you want to go find that anomaly that’s going to truly change the trajectory of what you guys are doing. So that would be the two things I would say is, you know, look for the anomalies, and for the folks that you do spend time with, make sure you circle back because it’s not always easy.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. Very well said. I mean, I don’t even know how to follow with that because that was awesome. I think you will be hearing lots more from David C. Williams, and I’m excited for you and wish you the very best in your new endeavors. And I look forward to talking with you again at some point in the future.

David C. Williams:  Same here. I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I hope your viewers enjoyed it. And thanks again for the time.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thank you for joining us.

David C. Williams:  Thank you.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thanks for joining me on The Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.