"A man that fails to prepare his children for his departure has failed as a father" (T'Chaka to T'Challa) - Leaders of networks can learn a lot from this. Any Chair that fails to prepare the network for his or her departure has failed to properly adopt or implement a legacy mentality. The day you become Chair of the network, the clock starts to tick and part of your duty is to review and strengthen the network's succession planning strategy. (Read Chapter 9 of the Incredible Power of Staff Networks for some tips!)
Being different does not mean deficient - Networks, as minority groups, have a role in educating the majority. Your difference does not mean that you are deficient, so do not deny who you are. Embrace who you are! Your experience and perspective can open the 'eyes' of the organisation. Articulating the challenges faced by members, crafting a new narrative about your group and showcasing your innovative solutions, will help to influence and change the culture of your organisation.
“Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.” (Shuri to T’Challa) - If the network has done something for the last 5 years successfully, that does not mean that you have to continue doing things in the same way. Pause. Take a look at the organisation. Has it changed? What is going on in the marketplace? What is coming on the horizon that could impact or propel your organisation? Are you ready? How can the network help the organisation and members? It's not about stopping what you used to do, it's about thinking whether you could do it in a different way and improve it to ensure that it's even a better fit for purpose.
"In times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers" (T'Challa) - Networks need allies and supporters outside their target group. Networks are not exclusive clubs! Build the bridge of empathy; invite people in, hear different opinions, and share your story. Let's edify members and seek opportunities to educate where necessary.
"I am loyal to that throne. No matter who sits on it." (Okoye) - The network is a product that lives beyond the personality of the Chair/leadership team. Leave personal preferences to one side and put what is best for the network at the forefront. Support the mission and the message in the best way you can and continue #makingworkbetter
"What can we learn from a bunch of farmers?" (UN delegate to T'Challa) - Yes, people may under estimate your talent and abilities. That's OK. But it's difficult for people to argue with an excellent track record of delivery. So, plan your work, work your plan, flex your innovative muscles, measure the impact and publicise your outcomes. Let the learning begin. (PS: For decades, the majority of Hollywood did not believe that a Black superhero could be successful...but a minority of passionate, talented and focused people, proved that they were wrong!)