Saturday, October 10, 2015

Black Fathers Present for our Girls

Are Black Fathers and Sons on the Endangered Species List? 

Dear Black Men, Fathers, Sons, Brothers, Uncles, Grandfathers and Friends:

October 10, 2015 is the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March.

Black Fathers Matter for Black Girls. What will you be doing to celebrate Black Fathers and Sons Who are Present for our Black Girls?

Click here to see video


If you have a Black father present in your life, stop and thank him how, because there are 1.5 million Black men missing. 

The 20th anniversary of the Million Man March on Washington D.C.  reminds us to take stock and celebrate our Black fathers and sons that are present in the lives of our woman and girls everyday. 

If we want to save our Black girls, we need to also save our Black fathers and our Black sons. The concept may be too daunting for some and quite alien to others. We cannot risk leaving our girls emotionally wounded and wanting, and intellectually and sociologically impaired when fathers go missing.

You really need not ask why we should celebrate our Black fathers as part of our celebration of Black woman and girls, but here is why. Black families need fathers. #BlackFathersMatter. Our children need Black fathers present in their lives. I work with young girls from all economic backgrounds to increase access to educational and life opportunities for them. In 2014, the Oprah Winfrey Network aired a summer series called "Daddyless Daughters" that focused on women's relationships with absent or uninvolved fathers and I see firsthand the difference for those children of having a father who is present and engaged. Growing up, I had double the love of a mother and a grandmother because my father was around, but not really present and engaged in my life.. I don't know why and I bear no hatred towards him because I do not know his circumstances.
I do know that families can survive and even thrive without a father. I do know that families are configured and reconfigured out of whole cloth every day to unite and form a healthy unit. But never undervalue the importance of having a father present in your life. Never.
Father's Day is a ritual that means very little if you fail to celebrate your father when he is present in your life every other day of the year. Every day should be a day of celebration for the Black father. He is an endangered species.
"If we don't show and share positive stories about black fathers, then ugly stereotypes will prevail. "I realized that while we still have problems in our communities, there have for decades been black men who have been good men, good husbands and of course good fathers. . . . However, this positive picture is rarely shown. It's an oversight that appears to prevent the constructive narrative from bringing changes to our communities," saysAaron Paxton Arnold, in Dispelling the myths about black fathers, an article appearing in July 2015 at

I am sending this email blog to all the brothers who have a father who is not on drugs, not shot by the police, did not abandon their wives, did not abandon their children, and did not abandon their families.
I am sending this email blog to all the brothers who call themselves good Black men and good Black fathers, because they too had to learn from someone. This is for all the brothers holding jobs, who are educated, and who are not falling into the all too familiar stereotypes of domestic violence or become deadbeats who do not pay child support or are just "not there."
This is for the Black fathers who are keeping it together for their sons so that they too have positive role models. This is for the Black fathers who are keeping it together so that their daughters and granddaughters also have positive role models of a "good Black Man" who elects to stay and not leave.
I am sending this email blog as a wake-up call to each and every Black man who has both a father and a son so that you continue to lead the march toward preservation of your family and their health and well-being. Together the family unit is stronger than when it is separated into fragmented pieces.
I am sending this email to every woman who is married to a Black man and has a child by and of that Black man. Call your children what you want, but America will call them Black. I am sending this to every mother who has to raise her Black son or daughter in a country where race still comes before character. Your child needs their Black father present in his or her life.
I am sending this email to all the brothers I know who still have fathers that are not and never were in jail. Celebrate the freedom of being able to see your father without the bars, the guards, and the need to see him humiliated by an unjust justice system that convicts on color before all else. Celebrate his freedom to be present for you then and even now. His ability to stay free to be present for YOU came at a high price you may never know he had to pay. 

My friend Hill Harper wrote the bestseller Letters to an Incarcerated Brother. 
Many prominent Black men and women contributed letters of hope to incarcerated Black men. One of the issues that rings clear is that families are in crisis when the father goes missing. It is true for white families as much as it is true for Black families and those who call themselves families without the need to designate their racial identity. Family is family. A father is a man who is present and engaged.

A close friend, Richard F., wrote a contributing section to Hill's book. The submission is available on our website by clicking here. Richard F. is a Black man. He is a Black father. He has never been in jail, cheated his wife, done drugs, robbed, stole, or anything else negatively ascribed to our Black men.
He does not have multiple "baby mommas." He is educated and he ensured his children were educated. He is present and was present for his two sons, who themselves are grown, married and have sons. They are not in jail. They do not have multiple "baby mommas" and they are present in the lives of their children. Real Black men learn from real Black men: fathers, uncles, grandfathers, brothers, and friends. It is not by chance that Richard F.'s sons are not in jail. It is by design, love, and support, and a present Black father, that Richard F.'s sons are not on drugs and not absent from their families.
The next time you see a Black father and a Black son-give thanks. If you cannot make it to Washington D.C. on October 10, 2015, to celebrate Black men, Black fathers, and Black sons, make your way to the telephone and reach at least 10 Black fathers and sons you know who are present for their sons, wives, and daughters.
Get on a conference call, Skype, do anything, and unite all the Black men and sons in your immediate family and have your own Million Man March. #BlackFathersMatter.
Don't let Black Fathers and Black Sons move from an endangered species to an extinct species.
Raye Mitchell
CEO and Founder
The New Reality Foundation, Inc.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Women of Color Play a Vital Role in Leading Silicon Valley Diversity Turn-Around Efforts

Will Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Keynote Address 
Set Silicon Valley on Fire?

The Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women-On Point or Missing the Mark?
28 women of color will make history with their contributions.

San Francisco, CA: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is set to deliver the keynote address at the inaugural Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women (#LeadOnCA), which opens on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. The conference is the first of its kind from Watermark, a 22 year old women’s leadership organization originating in Silicon Valley that, according to its website, offers “programs that connect, develop, and advocate for women.” The website makes no direct references to connecting, developing, and advocating for women of color to advance in leadership positions.

As stated in a very well-written February 12, 2015 article by Nicole Sanchez (@nmsanchez), a diversity thought leader who appeared in USA Today, “More white women does not equal tech diversity.” Women of color are value-added in the tech industry based on both our shared experiences as women and our different experiences as women of color. Being both a woman and a woman of color creates a competitive advantage in the marketplace that is missed when our voices, our stories, and our relevance is subsumed and merged into general terminology and melted into a general pool called “women.”

Slated to attract over 4,500 women, the primary challenge for the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women is not simply to pull off a woman’s conference; it is to deliver on the growing national and business mandate to transform Silicon Valley from a majority white and male stronghold at the leadership levels and increase global competitiveness by being more diverse and inclusive at all levels of the organization and in all segments and all sectors.

If Silicon Valley and San Francisco, ground zero for the tech industry and the innovation industry, are to actually make good on implementing more effective diversity and inclusion goals such as Intel Corporation Chief Executive Officer Brian Kranich’s call to make Silicon Valley “less white and less male,” they must directly and meticulously align their actions with their spoken goals and visions for moving forward.

Women of Color Play a Vital Role in Leading Silicon Valley Diversity Turn-Around Efforts

Without knowing what the content of Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton’s keynote address will be, I can only emphasize that Senator Clinton will need to do more than simply deliver a compelling message about women in leadership and leadership in tech. In my opinion, Senator Clinton must hit a home run in order to set the stage for a diversity and inclusion turn around that expressly, directly, and visibly acknowledges the vital role women of color will play in driving diversity and inclusion in tech, Silicon Valley, and the innovation economy. The conference made a passing reference to diversity and inclusion in its initial press release but has said nothing since about the critical role women of color will play in making this conference a success for increased diversity and inclusion. Women of color are an important economic and political demographic; we are entitled to precision and specificity in the continued conversations about women in leadership in Silicon Valley and the global conversations about increasing the number of women at the leadership table. The presumption that one-size-fits-all when it comes to conversations about women in leadership roles must come to an immediate halt.

As Sanchez concludes in her USA Today article, if we are to move forward, we have to “[b]e precise with language. When building groups or events for ‘women in tech,’ be honest about the limitations of your network. If a "women in tech" event is going to be comprised of white women, be clear. And if calling an event "white women in tech" makes you uncomfortable, there is more work to do.”

A lot is riding on the success of this Watermark conference as the first major Silicon Valley woman’s conference of 2015. Will Watermark deliver at this critical moment in the battle to change the Silicon Valley diversity and inclusion narrative and match actions with words? Will the conference shift the energy in Silicon Valley and the tech industry to signal a real climate change that actively includes women of color at the leadership tables? Has Watermark actively marketed its events to women of color by engaging media partners, resource groups, and bloggers that reach into our networks such that they are reaching women of color and millennials of color? Tuesday is opening day and there is nothing on the website that indicates whether or not Watermark has taken the lead on these matters. The jury is still out.

Women of Color Making History as Pioneers

Despite the conference website’s lack of direct discussion regarding the vital role of women of color in changing the face of leadership in Silicon Valley and tech companies, Watermark has a slate of over 25 prominent women of color set to make history with their contributions to the inaugural conference.

These women are making history and breaking down some spoken and unspoken color barriers to entry in this field of play. Women of color leaders are showing up and it is akin to calling in the cavalry to help amplify our voices and our contributions. These leaders by and through their visibility and participation confirm that there is a ready and waiting pool of highly qualified women of color leaders willing to lend their personal and professional reputations to a first-time conference event to help make the dream of diversity and inclusion a reality for women and girls of color. While all are amply qualified, only one is named as a keynote speaker: Candy Chang.

I am very confident that the inaugural Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women will launch with much success for women and spark a major after-party celebration for the planning team. The pivotal question, however, remains: will the conference meet the needs of women of color regarding their participation at the leadership tables? One thing is for certain: if there is another conference in 2016, Watermark needs to see more African American and Latina women as featured keynote speakers and more direct engagement and agenda items regarding the unique experiences of women of color as pioneers in leadership in tech and Silicon Valley. Getting real about diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley means getting real about engaging women of color at the leadership tables and as keynote speakers.

Dr. Raye Mitchell is founder and Chief Innovation Officer of the New Reality B-corp, a California benefit corporation and The New Reality Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization that provides leadership training for women and girls of color to prepare as global leaders.  She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California (USC), an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business, and a law degree from Harvard Law School. She is retired from the practice of law and works full-time in philanthropy, entertainment production, and as an author to support programs advancing diversity and leadership for women and girls.

Keynote Address

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Women of Color of the Watermark Silicon Valley Women's Conference 2015

CANDY CHANG is the creator of the Before I Die project.

ANA CORRALES is senior vice president of product operations at Cisco Systems. @cisco > 

SHELLYE ARCHAMBEAU is the CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based governance, risk, compliance (GRC) and quality management software company where she is responsible for running all facets of the business.  @shelarchambeau

DR. GLORIA MAYFIELD BANKS is an internationally renowned motivational success strategist and trainer, who has consistently beaten the odds to achieve extraordinary success. @gloriabanks >

 <JALEH BISHARAT is senior vice president of marketing at Elance-oDesk speaks and writes frequently on various topics of concern to working women, including the future of work, flexibility as a talent management strategy, women in leadership and strategies for working parents.  @jalehbisharat
KIMBERLY BRYANT is the founder and executive
director of Black Girls CODE,a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts. @6gems@blackgirlscode >

 <JACKIE GLENN is a seasoned executive in strategic planning, human resources, talent development and diversity and inclusion. @emccorp

CARLA A. HARRIS is the author of
“Strategize to Win,” and managing director and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley. Harris has degrees from Harvard University and Harvard Business School and numerous honorary doctorates. >

ROSALIND L. HUDNELL is vice president, human resources and chief diversity officer for Intel Corporation. @intel

YOKY MATSUOKA grew up assuming she would become a professional tennis player. After obtaining her degrees, she became a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and later at the University of Washington developing robotic devices for rehabilitating and assisting the human body and brain. >

<VERNÁ MYERS, Esq. is principal of Verná Myers Consulting Group, LLC (VMCG). She is a nationally recognized expert on diversity and inclusion within law firms, law departments and law schools.  Myers graduated from Harvard Law School and earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University. @vernamyers

MICHELE RUIZ is a bi-lingual entrepreneur and public speaker whose passions are entrepreneurship, empowerment and technology.
Considered a thought leader, Ruiz has been interviewed and quoted by major news organizations including CNN and The New York Times. @micheleruiz01 >

<FAYE SAHAI has more than 20 years of experience in leading innovation, catalyst for change and strategic initiatives across multiple companies such as Blue Shield, Deloitte, Charles Schwab, Disney, HP, Kaiser Permanente and Toyota. She serves on the Board of Directors for Berger Research Institute and the Alumni Board for Claremont McKenna College.

POOJA SANKAR is the founder and CEO of Piazza, which is changing the way technical students learn and find jobs. Piazza Careers, which was launched two years ago, enables recruiters to source these
students for technical jobs. @piazza >

<MERLINE SAINTIL is head of operations for the office of the CTO at Intuit. She is an international technology executive, business advisor and operations expert, having distinguished herself as a leader in fast growing sectors of cloud computing, mobile, online payments and commerce. @wtrmrk

CHRISTINE TSAI is a managing partner at 500 Startups where she oversees the accelerator program and distribution/growth team.  @christine_tsai

Expert Exchange

<KRISTI YAMAGUCHI captured the gold medal in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France in figure skating. Most recently, Yamaguchi has added New York Times best-selling author to her list of achievements by introducing her first children’s picture book. @kristiyamaguchi

KIM RIVERA is chief legal officer for DaVita HealthCare Partners (NYSE DVA), a Global Fortune 500 healthcare services company with 65,000 teammates and operations in 11 countries. @davita >

<GUNJAN AGGARWAL is head of human resources for Ericsson’s North American region. She is responsible for driving human resources strategy for the U.S. and Canadian region that has an annual revenue of $8.5 billion and an employee base of more than 16,000.  @ericsson

TRUDY BOURGEOIS is a renowned and respected authority on leadership development and diversity in today’s corporate America. Bourgeois is a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, writes for numerous trade publications and magazines, and has authored two books on leadership.  @trudybourgeois >
<SHARON BROGDON is the diversity director at Intel Corporation. In this role she oversees the company’s strategic approach to the retention and development of its underrepresented minority and Veteran talent, creates and drives pipeline strategies. She is a recipient of the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal. @intel

RASIKA JANARTHA is an account manager with Ericsson, managing sales engagements for End-2-End solutions in network technology.  She has an engineering background, having earned an M.S. in telecommunications from University of Maryland. @ericsson >
<SRIDEVI KONERU RAO is an integral part of the Cisco Product and Services portfolio leadership team. Rao earned an M.S. in computer science from SCU, California and an M.B.A. from Wharton, University of Pennsylvania. @cisco

LINDA HARRISON was appointed as the executive director of MoAD in December 2013. Harrison also served on the board of EARN, a San Francisco nonprofit that helps low-income American families achieve financial stability and on the advisory board of Horizons Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit that actively secures the LGBT community’s future by promoting planned giving. >

<AISHA IBRAHIM received her formal culinary degree while attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Born in the Philippines, and an East Coast transplant, she has spent the last eight years working in such iconic Bay Area restaurants as Aqua, Foreign Cinema, Betelnut, before working her way up to executive chef of the Spanish-inspired Ramblas at the age of 24.

Social Media Roundtable

SUSAN CHANG is social media manager for Dropbox. Chang realized during graduate school at the London School of Economics that she could actually turn her love for social media into a real career. @sujinchang >
<MEGAN ROSE DICKEY is a former tech journalist turned startup enthusiast, now a producer at KITE. At KITE, Dickey produces content and supports KITE’s Fortune 1000 customers. @meganrosedickey

Small Business Roundtable

JIN ZHOU is the global programs manager for Women 2.0, where she is connecting, building, and inspiring the next generation of women leaders. An avid bookworm and explorer, 
she has traveled to over 30 countries. @soulcandies >


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.
Dr. Martin Luther King
Innovation and Creativity in Action

Dr. Raye Mitchell
Creative Genius Rules Workshop
      On August 6, 2014, a dedicated group of women led by the visionary leader, champion and creative guru Lauren Wesley Wilson, President of ColorComm, Inc., struck like lightening when they launched the inaugural ColorComm Conference (“C2”) in Miami, Florida. The emergence of ColorComm and C2 is both the message and the messenger for how creativity can emerge from nowhere, thrive, expand and overthrow the status quo . C2 is an authentic e
xample of creativity, innovation and drive to disrupt, bundled into a platform that constructs a new version of what is new going forward. 
Why are ColorComm and C2 examples of innovation in motion? 

First, ColorComm has a visionary leader willing to take risks. 

Second, it accomplished something no other organization has achieved. It convened the first known national conference for women of color in the integrated communications segment. 

Third, it accomplished this feat in record time by capturing the moment, the movement and the market opportunity to meet an unmet need. Less than two years ago, C2 was inconceivable and not on any known radar; ColorComm simply did not even exist in its current shape or form. Just two short years ago, Ms. Wilson had started an invite-only luncheon series of women of color in communications in Washington, DC. Forming an operating network of sisterhood, camaraderie and knowledge sharing, the team soon blossomed into a membership organization. The spark of innovation by Ms. Wilson in Washington, DC, led to the birth of chapters in Chicago and New York, with Atlanta coming soon. 

Fourth, ColorComm and C2 attracted committed team players and provided the team an opportunity to make history by rallying behind a common goal. In other words, in order to grow, ColorComm had to expand the leadership ranks beyond Ms. Wilson. ColorComm, still in the infant stages of any organizational life, allowed innovation to find room to incubate and thrive. ColorComm let “like-minded” people in the door and presented an environment safe to take risks and fuel new thinking. 

Fifth, ColorComm sponsored an environment where new thought can and did take root by activating the team and putting “boots on the ground.” ColorComm’s growth accelerated because the team actually set a big compass goal and marched forward to do something, moving beyond the 
safety of the status quo. A fundamental requirement for the expansion of innovation and creativity is experimentation, taking action and taking risk. Something needs to happen if innovation and creativity are to emerge. Often newly formed groups and organizations become distracted or excited by the mere formation of the group.  Once formed, the status quo becomes the end goal. “We came, we met and we left” becomes the operating mentality, whether stated directly or indirectly by the activities of the participants. But this proved untrue for ColorComm.

In this case, ColorComm and the leadership team envisioned a national conference to expand, share and capture the moment and interest in its platform. Launching and announcing a goal to convene a national conference of thought leaders in communications is ambitious. In a world where risk and reward are not often extended to women, especially women of color, the leadership team of ColorComm literally put their personal and professional reputations on the line. Even veteran conference hosts will wake to that bad dream of “What if I host a conference and no one comes or I can’t attract star talent and speakers?”

Sixth, the C2 leadership team nourished inside relationships to break through the status quo. Hosting an inaugural conference is a “chicken and egg” proposition. To attract top-talent speakers and an audience, organizers must establish street cred.2To be heard in an environment of noisy and well-established competition for time, resources and prestige, organizers must be viewed as influencers with “go-to” authority status. However, to demonstrate “go-to” authority status, the organizers of C2 had to establish a track record of action, delivery and the ability to play above the rim. In this case, supported by a small but powerful team of ten talented leaders, C2 disrupted the status quo and delivered an amazing, engaging and groundbreaking conference, hosting 200+ emerging influencers in the integrated communications segment. The talent team of C2 included Mercy Chikowore, Gwen Haynes, Anita Shelton, Tonya Williams, Janina Jeff, Alencia Johnson, Lindsay Wilkinson, Sheila Brooks, Tkeyah Lake and Valarie Wilson.

How did they accomplish the mission? ColorComm and C2 nourished inside relationships and the
Download Free Copy Here
willingness of some, but not all, industry leaders to embrace innovation and invest in the unknown. True innovation and disruption can and does evolve with or without financial backers; however, the insightfulness of a few early adopters and true believers transformed C2 from an early stage expansion project into to a true high-quality, high-impact “game changer” event. C2 happened because of the combined sponsorships, partnerships and endorsements of industry leaders and corporate teams such as the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne), Prudential, Wells Fargo, BET Networks, Web Shandwick, Toyota of America, Edelman, The Coca-Cola Company, CBS TV Network, Publicis Groupe, MSLGroup, Bursin-Marsteller, American Pride, The RLJ Companies, MSNBC and PRWeek. Fueling the development of 
innovation happening in real time and engagements, this team of sponsors enriched an audience of 200+ emerging millennial women leaders in the communications segments stemming from various entertainment platforms to traditional public relations. In addition, C2 attracted leaders in corporate branding, corporate social responsibility, social and digital media and, of course, established and emerging entrepreneurs.
Seventh. The seventh component of the C2 success story is that they engaged industry thought leaders who were willing to lend their reputational authority to the C2 proposition and vision. Innovation, creativity and disruption bring inherent risks of failure, setbacks and disappointments. In some cases, established veterans will not endorse newness, despite producing numerous corporate branding messages alleging that they embrace innovation and risk taking. In other cases, there exists a limited set of visionary veterans who will endorse newness.

The C2 leadership, relying on established relationships, built its inaugural program by reaching connectors willing to make introductions to prominent women in the communications segment. The process of networking and connecting requires tenacity, perseverance and an element of dumb luck. High profile speakers are in demand, and a “no” response is more likely than not. However, the C2 team executed a masterful plan. They preempted anticipated “no’s” by establishing a compelling reason for prominent speakers to claim the title of ‘founding inaugural speaker’. In other words, there is exactly one chance ever to be among the founding inaugural speakers. Some leaders will embrace the leadership role and others will shrink away. Next, the C2 team established and maintained high standards in the selection of its speakers and thought leaders, and invited speakers with a passion for the mission. C2 had to remain committed to its vision to attract high quality speakers. It is true that the company you keep will determine or derail your creative vision. A roster of status quo speakers, even if accompanied by a big name title, lacking a personal connection to the mission and vision is weak. In the alternative,  a roser of innovative speakers armed with credentials, passion, focus and commitment to the mission of C2 is a  powerful tool for innovation expansion. The C2 leadership team advanced its creative vision by mastering the discipline of capturing commitment over compliance.

Eighth and last, the C2 leadership team executed brilliant innovation by building into their program a model for sustainability, evolution and expansion. Before, during and after the conference, the C2 team sought 360˚ input and feedback from its target prospective and audience. The C2 team was able to implement real-time innovation and changes to the conference agenda. Program speakers and participants arrived early and were encouraged to observe and interact with the audience in order to be prepared to deliver real-time tailoring of programming materials to the rhythm and temperament of audience engagement. C2 also engaged a worldwide audience in a program segment entitled Go Live. C2 then interacted with 
both its in-house audience and its entire social media universe to instantly adapt and evolve the C2 program with quality content and materials.

Be Bold. Be Brilliant.

About Dr. Raye Mitchell:
Dr. Raye Mitchell lead the Creative Genius Rules. Play to Win Workshop at C2. Dr. Raye Mitchell is a an award winning humanitarian and innovation expert who helps people create breakthrough impacts. As an inspirational speaker, Dr. Mitchell works with individuals and corporate clients to train and inspire women to lead forward as next generation global leaders. A successful litigation attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School, Dr. Mitchell is now acclaimed as an entertainment producer and social entrepreneur recognized for her contributions in mentoring girls and young women to become global leaders. She is the author of several books, most recently “The Laws of the New Game Changers: How to Make Breakthrough Impacts That Take You Forward”.  Dr. Mitchell is developing new entertainment projects and writing her next book on how women and girls can advance themselves, our community and as global leaders. Click here to obtain a free copy of the workshop materials.

Contact Dr. Raye:
email: raye@rayemitchell

Friday, November 22, 2013

5 Secrets to Catching Fire and Being a Game Changer.

Are You Hungry?

Dr. Raye Mitchell
Wanted: first-class global game changers that 
are on fire. Inquire within if qualified.

            In today’s global community, there is a thirst for innovation and a call for global game changers to step up and stand out. Pick up any newspaper and magazine on the newsstand or read a quick blurb on an Internet site, and you will discover some form of global obsession with innovation and the need to be a game changer. The thirst for innovation is not limited to the narrow scope of innovation in business, technology, and political and social affairs; the demand to be a game changer extends to improvement in community, improvement in family relationships, and even self-improvement. How can you get in on this opportunity?
            The true question for you is, what is that inner driving force that makes a game changer excel? What makes some people keep driving forward, when others lose steam, give out, and give up? The short answer is: a game changer is on fire with hope.
            In the global blockbuster, Hunger Games, the seemingly maniacal President Snow warns his followers of the power of hope as the actions of Everdeen prove her to be a game changer:

President Snow: Seneca . . . why do you think we have a winner?
Seneca Crane: [frowns] What do you mean?
President Snow: I mean, why do we have a winner? I mean, if we just wanted to intimidate the districts, why not round up twenty-four at random and execute them all at once? It would be a lot faster.
[Seneca just stares, confused.]
President Snow: Hope.
Seneca Crane: Hope?
President Snow: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous.

            The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is an upcoming movie set to released November 22, 2013, the sequel to the Hunger Games. A true game changer is like the lead character, Katniss Everdeen, in Hunger Games: Catching Fire. She is driven and hungry for results. She is passionate and unshakable. She has hope and never stops believing in the vision and the outcome.

5 Secrets to Catching Fire and Being a Game Changer

Secret #1: Get a Lot of Tenacity and Audacity (T & A). A healthy dose of T & A will take you far in the challenge of being a game changer. T & A is the hidden force that enables the game changer to create big dreams, to have hope, and to hold on and hold out to see those dreams to fruition.

Secret #2: Exploit the Inevitable Element of Surprise. Things change. The unexpected is indeed the expected, and thus the ability to catch fire is the ability to count on the element of surprise and to be prepared to exploit the opportunity it presents. One thing is true about forward thinkers: they know nothing stays the same, something has to give, and if they hang in there long enough, they will achieve the goal. There is value in being the last one standing.

Secret #3: Be Prepared to Turn on a Dime. The gazelle, a member of the antelope family, is small, swift, and known for its ability to run fast and make precise turns without losing momentum. Often, a game changer is under siege, being chased by the status quo and running for her/his life to stay in the game. Like the gazelle, the new game changers never stop believing they can get away from the status quo. They never stop believing in the mission and they simply run faster, work harder, and make a few sharp turns and maneuvers to stay in the game.

Secret #4: Stock Up on “Anti-Dream Killer Spray.” We purchase bug spray to get rid of bugs. We purchase pepper spray to get rid of those that pose physical dangers. In order to stay in the game, every game changer needs an ample supply of “anti-dream killer spray.” Dream killers are the people who infiltrate your life, your confidence, your vision, and your “can do” and “will-do” attitude. Dream killers have no dreams of their own and exist to kill yours. Today’s game changers are all armed with a lifetime supply of “anti-dream killer spray” and apply it amply.

Secret #5: Fake It until You Make It. A true game changer never lets others see her sweat. To the world, she is already the winner, the victor, and the author of something new, bold, daring, and innovative. The key to staying in the game is not allowing the status quo to seep inside your mindset and not allowing doubt to see the underbelly, the soft spots, and the weaknesses. Like rust, once inside the armor, it is all over.
            Ultimately, the ability to be a true game changer, innovator, and global disrupter is the ability to never stop believing in the power of hope as a tool to create change. It is the ability to grab hold of a vision and hold on and hold out to the end. Now go catch fire.

Dr. Raye Mitchell is a “Top-Idea Maven”, real-life “fixer”,  entertainment producer, writer and innovation expert who helps  people create breakthrough impacts. A successful entertainment attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School, Dr. Mitchell is now acclaimed as an award-winning humanitarian and social entrepreneur recognized for her contributions in mentoring girls and young women to become global leaders. In 2007, Dr. Mitchell started The New Reality Foundation, a 501 c (3) tax-exempt foundation that provides training and mentoring for girls and young women. Dr. Mitchell is also the co-founder of the M.B.A. Series Executive Development Program, which provides leadership training for people aged 12–40 ( She is the author of several books, most recently “The Laws of the New Game Changers: How to Make Breakthrough Impacts That Take You Forward”. Her work is preparing next gen leaders to be global disrupters and innovators.
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 Tags: Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Leadership, Global, Next Generation, Next Gen, Women Leaders, Harvard Law School, Innovation, Game Changers,