#ITSTIME to Take Your Seat: “Know Your Worth”
My journey with the Black Corporate Board Readiness Program, part 4 of 4 — Merritt McKenzie
Recently, I began sharing my journey with the Black Corporate Board Readiness (BCBR) Program at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. In part 1 of this series, I shared my decision-making process in starting the program, as well as the impressive founders and advisory council. In part 2, I discussed a brief program overview; my personal and professional growth through the program; my reflections; and the sense of community created by the BCBR Program. In part 3, I shared the event, which introduced the cohort to the public that is searching for Black board-ready candidates and my thoughts on how the BCBR graduates will impact social change. Finally, in part 4, I will share my takeaways from the program.
Leadership is about influence. This program has had a truly phenomenal influence on me personally and professionally. I absolutely recommend this program for any Black executive who aspires to a board seat — in fact, I referred two colleagues in my network to the BCBR and they have already completed the program as part of the second cohort!
The skills and knowledge that I gained from the BCBR already helped me achieve several goals, including a C-suite role. The one aspect (out of many), that was a great reminder from the program, was to know and own my own worth. The support I received, from both the cohort and the facilitators, gave me a better understanding AND reminded me of the value I bring to the table. I cannot overstate how impactful it was to receive such validation from these high caliber individuals.
One of my long term goals is to hold board seats on public, private, as well as charitable and purpose-driven organizations. I believe I have a lot to contribute within these roles, specifically in a nonprofit that’s passionate about education and career guidance for underrepresented groups.
I can honestly say that the Black Corporate Board Readiness Program was a pillar in my preparedness and my career pivot. As a Black executive leader in today’s climate, it is incredibly important to find mentors and sponsors who you trust and respect, who you can learn from and grow. Your network is your net worth.
By surrounding myself with people who share my values and goals of increasing racial diversity in executive positions, I had a front row seat to the changes that will be sweeping the boards of every major company in the coming years.
I hope that by sharing my story of this program, I might pay it forward by motivating other diverse executives from underrepresented groups to take the next step on their executive leadership career path. My experience with the program was beyond my wildest dreams and I highly recommend it. I hope my story serves as a resource for others who want to reach the next level but didn’t know how — yet!
Be The Influence!
Next I’ll be sharing my takeaways from our in-person networking event in Sonoma. To learn more about the Black Corporate Board Readiness Program, visit their website.
Read more on my Signitt.
Merritt McKenzie is a growth strategist in the healthcare field. With over 25 years of experience, he strives to build high performing diverse teams in organizations. Merritt has proven to be successful in sustaining high levels of employee morale and bringing teams together through common goals. As the Chief Operating Officer at Phoenix Physical Therapy, he works to create more effective and efficient operational strategies that both benefit the employees, patients and the company growth. A holistic leader, Merritt ensures high standards of patient care, business strategy and execution, team collaboration and organizational growth.
Black Corporate Board Readiness
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