Today we had a special guest join us. Her name is Malliron Hodge, and she’s a board member of Kallion. She joined us to talk about her business as well as her podcast titled “Baddies with Business”. It’s a podcast in which she interviews different women of color entrepreneurs and highlights their journey in building their businesses. Hodge was a very fun guest to have and she offered a lot of insight into what it’s like having a business as a Black woman. The advice she offered was very encouraging as well, even to someone that isn’t interested in becoming an entrepreneur, so I really appreciated her addition to our discussion today.
To be transparent, entrepreneurship has always sounded intimidating for me, so it’s not something that I found myself wanting to venture into (but of course who knows what I’ll think in the future /shrug/); but I always love getting advice from entrepreneurs, because they often offer a lot of great advice in terms of motivation and achieving milestones. So with that in mind, after our class session, I immediately went over to Spotify to check out one of Hodge’s podcasts. The one that caught my eye was the one titled “Unlock Your Story”. In this episode, Ms. Hodge interviews Ciera Kaler-Jones who is the founder of Unlock Your Story co, which as is stated on their website, is a company that “provides storytelling coaching and consultation for individuals, businesses, organizations, and schools.” In this podcast, Kaler-Jones talked about how she came into entrepreneurship and developing her business.
This week we had another fun topic. We were assigned to watch The Black Panther and pinpoint any key leadership traits in the characters that we noticed, as well as characteristics that we noticed they had a hard time conveying. Here’s what I found:
T’Challa: I think T’Challa’s strongsuit was his sense of community. He made sure that those around them were protected and taken care of, and in return, they gave him their loyalty. I think one of the biggest challenges he faced, however, was finding the strength to lead without his mentor (his father). You could tell that his father was someone that he turned to for everything, so when he passed it seemed as if he lost his direction and purpose. I think T’Chaka’s passing was, although very painful, a good thing for the development of his leadership because it propelled him into learning how to take make decisions and face threatening situations on his own.
Erik Killmonger: Whether N’Jadaka was a good leader or not is definitely debatable, but I think Kilmonger actually had a pretty big love for humanity. It was definitely expressed in an unhealthy way, but unlike most other Marvel villains, his intentions were understandable and could easily be sympathized with. His case reminds me of the discussion we had revolving around how a mentor/mentee becomes a bad mentor/mentee. One thing I remember talking about in my group was how someone could initially be on the right track, but a very impactful negative experience comes into their life which eventually changes their trajectory. In Kilmonger’s case, I think there were a few wrong turns, but I think if he had a good mentor (or his father) around like T’Challa did, he could’ve easily given T’Challa a run for his money in turns of becoming the King of Wakanda (without intruding lol).
Nakia: I noticed that the most prominent trait that Nakia had was compassion and having a love for humanity. She was very dedicated to her calling and didn’t let things (such as her budding relationship with T’Challa) distract her or get in her way. She also had a strong sense of community (even stronger than T’Challa I would argue), and she took the further step to build a connection with those she crossed paths with. She also had that sense of being comfortable with being by herself like Binti had. Overall I think Nakia had many of the traits that we’ve discussed throughout the course, so pinpointing where she lacked was difficult.
Okoye: Out of all the characters I mentioned so far, Okoye definitely had the strongest sense of community. I think within her professions she needed to, as the Dora Milaje had to operate on an advanced level of togetherness and unity. For Okoye to lead this fierce group of warriors, I think that spoke a lot to her leadership skills. One area in which she was weak sometimes, however, was her delivery. This reminded me of Ned, but Okoye wasn’t blunt in a socially awkward way, but more of in an “I will not tolerate any foolishness” type of way. This straight- forward nature can be intimidating for some people, and it’s not typically a characteristic that we define a leader to have, but I think it’s a very underrated quality to have. Even moreso in Okoye’s case, because in her line of work where she has to be alert and on her A-game all the time, there’s little room for fabrication, and this can even hinder or be a detriment to your profession.