With Board Service Comes Responsibility

For five years our editors have developed the annual report on boardroom power to examine whether corporate America embraces true diversity and inclusion at the highest level. As such, we have produced the BLACK ENTERPRISE Registry of Corporate Directors-our exclusive roster of African Americans who sit on the boards of the nation’s largest corporations.

To give an accurate picture of the composition of America’s boardrooms, we have expanded the universe. This year, we examined the entire S&P 500-an index based on market capitalization-up from the top 300 S&P companies that we evaluated last year. Amazingly, we discovered an even greater percentage of corporations have not made a commitment to black representation on their boards. In 2017, 70% of the S&P 300 have black board members and only 60% of the S&P 500 have black corporate directors. While there has been a slight increase in high-profile appointments of blacks at Silicon Valley-based tech companies, the overall diverse representation at all such companies is still woefully lacking.

Make no mistake about it, corporate directors represent the most powerful participants in corporate America. They play pivotal roles in overseeing companywide policies, issues, and strategies of the CEO and senior management team that impact both internal and external stakeholders.

(A collage of board directors and members. Image: File)

It is just as important to ensure that major corporations populate boards with proactive African Americans. When an African American can be found on a board, he or she is usually one or two seats on a body composed of anywhere from 10 to 12 directors. I’m here to challenge all black board members with the specific responsibility to voice issues of concern that affect African Americans across the board. Our fiduciary responsibility is a given. As an African American corporate director, you hold a greater responsibility to unapologetically advocate on behalf of African Americans to ensure our greater participation in senior management, the supply chain, and professional services such as the protected classes of legal, accounting, and asset management services. Likewise, it is your duty to ensure that an equitable share of corporate marketing dollars is directed toward African American media as well as philanthropic organizations and causes.

John Rogers, a corporate director for McDonald’s and Exelon as well as co-founder of the Black Corporate Directors Conference, said, If we don’t speak out, nothing will change because the traditional leadership has other agendas. They’re not thinking about us unless we remind them of how important it is, and hold them accountable for the commitment and promises they’ve made about diversity and inclusion.

So it is not your job to sit quietly on the board, collect a handsome paycheck, company stock, and countless corporate perks to allow the CEO and senior management-all of whom answer to you-to perpetuate the status quo. I have served on an array of corporate boards throughout my business career and have often told African Americans coming on boards that corporate America did not run out of smart white people to put on boards. African American board members must be so vocal and relentless that they are prepared to walk in harm’s way or lose their seat.

Your voice matters. In some cases, one corporate director can have global impact. As the only member on the board of General Motors in the 1970s and 1980s, the late civil rights activist Rev. Leon Sullivan used his position to push for and institute The Sullivan Principles,-guidelines for corporate America to campaign against South Africa’s apartheid regime. His activism led to scores of corporations divesting from the nation and eventually dismantling its segregationist policies.

Use your board seat for its intended purpose: To challenge the CEO and management to make the company in which you serve better. Quite frankly, if you’re unwilling to take on that responsibility, do your stakeholders a favor by relinquishing your position and giving your seat to someone more deserving.

For our Power in the Boardroom package, clickhere.

For the list of companies with black directors, clickhere.

For the 2017 B.E. Registry of Corporate Directors, clickhere.


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By Chris atwww.CapitalistExploits.at

When I set out over a year ago to just once a week highlight one element of absurdity (because it is absurdity which often leads to asymmetry and thus profits) on this ball of dirt we call home, it was inevitable that I wouldn’t have much trouble in finding things to jeer and laugh at.

With the torrent of rules and regulations, manipulations, and interventions that fill statute books each day… and with governments and central bankers doing what they do best (stupid things), it was a statistical certainty that I would reach a day when I looked around and finding far too much to show you my head would simply explode. And this week that day arrived…

And so…with an exploded head I’m useless to you.

So instead, I figured I’d go back and review all the voting on the World Out of Whack posts I’ve done. And by George, there are a sh*tload. June of 2016 was when the fun began. I don’t know if I’ll get through them all but you never know unless you start so here’s the first three.

1. Bat isht crazy real estate

Vancouver real estate. Investors thought it was such a great idea… except you. Cos you’re smart. Well done!

Now a year on, Vancouverites would rather weld their children together with molten metal than dive in and buy.

There’s more, though. I threw some crumbs. Now, don’t say I don’t love you:

Side note:While the focus today is on overvalued RE markets, as an investor I can’t help myself from pointing out that with a P/E ratio of just 9x, Hong Kong’s equity markets are today the cheapest in the world, withthe Hang Seng Indextrading at the biggest discount to global shares in 15 years.

As a reference point consider that most major stock markets typically trade at a P/E of between 15-20x, so we’re looking at an equity market some 40-50% of its highs and an overvalued real estate market at the same time.

Here’s that undervalued market I was talking about:

I then mentioned those fiendish orientals… and why you should buy Bitcoin. This is a game not just for round eyes in Silicon Valley to play:

2. Next up was just after Brexit

…and we asked you:

Crikey… you lot are sharp. Certainly French elections registered as a crisis in confidence with the first time that an incumbent never even made it to the runoffs. Ha! Take that Hollande… and put it in your pipe and smoke it.

3. And then in the third issue of WOW,we covered global bond markets

We asked the question:

So that was published on 29th June.

Though gold is about where it was in June of last year, this question will only be answered in the next crisis… and I’m willing to put some shiny ones on you being right once again because I promise you this: In the next crisis, gold is likely to fair much better than trying to conjugate the modern day version of Julius Caesar’s paper.

And really… if there is one thing I’d like to get across, it is encapsulated in this wonderful chart below. Because once you realise this, you’ll begin to start thinking the right way:

Happy Wednesday!

– Chris

“Never attribute to malice, that which can be reasonably explained by stupidity.” – Spider Robinson


Liked this article? Then you’ll probably like my other missives on

this topic as well.Go here to access them (free, of course).


LiveShopCast Turns Your eCommerce or Retail Store Into a Home Shopping Channel

LiveShopCast Powered by uZoom Turns Your Ecommerce or Retail Store Into a Home Shopping Channel

Video lets you make more impactful connections with your audience, which gives you a better chance to turn them into customers. If the video is live, the impact is even greater. This has led many platforms to deploy live video, but what LiveShopCast has done is to directly drive eCommerce revenue at the same time.

LiveShopCast Powered by uZoom

WithLiveShopCastpowered by uZoom, you can launch a live home shopping channel from your home or small business and give your brand another outlet for engaging with your audience.

The Problem With Regular Live Video for eCommerce

Whether it is Facebook Live, Periscope, SnapChat or YouTube, their limitations quickly become obvious when you want to carryout ecommerce transactions. In a release, John Kueber, CEO of uZoom, which developed LiveShopCast, said, We solved that. Our sellers can be streaming cash during their live broadcast. Our easy to use mobile app has a seamless end to end sales experience for the customer.

How Does LiveShopCast Work?

After you download the app and create a LiveShopCast profile, you can add your products and checkout options. You can use your existing shopping or payment processing to do this.

Once you have setup these options, you schedule your show, send out invitations, and promote it. The only thing you need to start your live video feed is your smartphone and a camera stand. When the time arrives, you broadcast your show live.

LiveShopCast also includes a recording option so you can review your show and improve your performance for future events.


LiveShopCast has three different tiers, and they all come with a 14 day free trial. The cheapest version, or Try It, comes in at $19 per month with one LiveShopCast and up to 10 shoppers per event every month. Direct Seller gives you four LiveShopCast events every month and up to 50 shoppers per event for $99 per month. With eCommerce Leader, the rate jumps to $199 per month, and for this price you get four LiveShopCast events every month and up to 200 shoppers per event.

Why Use Video For Your Small Business?

The first reason is the growth of video. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic will be video by 2019. And this growth is translating to a direct impact on businesses. Using video marketing has resulted in having a direct impact on the business of 76.5 percent of marketers and small business owners.

With a 14-day free trial, you can give LiveShopCast a go and see for yourself.

Image: Uzoom

This article, “LiveShopCast Turns Your eCommerce or Retail Store Into a Home Shopping Channel” was first published on Small Business Trends

Can This Presentation be Saved? Yes, With the Improv Rule of Use It, Lose It, or Laugh at It

As they say in live theater, the show must go on. The same holds true for your presentation. Whether the customer throws you a curve ball, you’ve forgotten your slide deck, or can’t access your demo environment, you must carry on.

Things change and mistakes happen. Technology and humans are both fallible. The important thing to remember is to remain calm. Not only will keeping your composure help you manage the situation, but it will help your prospect stay calm as well. Keep in mind that your prospect will take his cues from you. If you suddenly look like you’ve just missed the last flight home, your prospect will be understandably alarmed as well.

When the unexpected occurs in business, I find many improv techniques to be very helpful, especially the improv rule of Use it, Lose it, or Laugh at to be extremely helpful. The rule quickly narrows down three choices of actions to take to make sure your presentation doesn’t end up bombing.

Here’s how to use the improv rule of Use it, Lose it, or Laugh at it

*Use it.

You walk in prepared to present a solution to one problem, but your customer has something else in mind. What do you do? Well unless the change is minor, you certainly don’t want to forge on stubbornly delivering the presentation or demo you’ve prepared to deliver (which I’ve seen too many presenters do). In the world of improv, you need to use what you’re given and make the best of it. Anything else is simply arguing with reality.

In this example where your information is no longer relevant, you may be better off scrapping your presentation and turning your meeting into a discovery or white-boarding session. This will allow you to gain a better understanding of the changes before presenting your solution, or rescheduling for a new presentation.

*Lose it.

It’s not unusual for actors to forget lines, stage direction or props. Generally the audience never notices there was a mistake because the actor smoothly carries on. In sales, if the mistake doesn’t affect your basic message, there’s no need to draw unnecessary attention to it either. If your mistake is noticeable (you forgot a product, misspelled their name, etc.) apologize once and quickly move on. You don’t need to draw undue attention to it.

Comments like I wish I could show you this great graph I had planned here will only make your audience feel shortchanged. Make your prospect feel like she is in competent hands. Circle back to the missed section when you can, skip the graph, and send it as a follow-up.

TIP: Know When to Move On: If it’s a technical problem (i.e., the projector doesn’t recognize your laptop, your demo won’t load, etc.) you have about two to three minutes to identify and fix the issue before you start to lose your audience. If it’s going to take longer than that to resolve, enlist help, take a break, or use your backup plan (you have one of those, right?!)

*Laugh at it.

If there’s no hiding the problem (you forgot your deck, your laptop, or your mind), laugh at it, and then circle back to rule #1, Use it. For example, you keep losing your connection. You could quickly apologize, then share a laugh about the mighty technology God’s. If it’s a recurring problem, you could even make a running joke out of if it.

Humor provides a nice opportunity for everyone to let down their guard. Laughing at problems or mistakes is an important skill in improv and in sales. Prospects typically respond positively to a salesperson who can admit making a mistake and carry on with good humor. Of course, you never want to laugh at the customer, unless they laugh at themselves first, but you know that right?!

All joking aside, if your deck is so important that you can’t go on without it, it’s time to rethink your presentation.

PenFed Power Cash Rewards $100 Credit Card Bonus

The PenFed Power Cash Rewards credit card bonus is $100.

The card earns a flat 1.5% (or 2% with a checking account) on all purchases.

If you aren’t familiar with Penfed, it’s a credit union but doesn’t require military service.

In fact, long time readers will remember that we opened our mortgage with Penfed years ago. From time to time, they also offer CDs that pay above market rates.

The $100 sign up bonus is our Free Money Friday offer this week!

How to Get Your $100 Bonus

  1. Join Penfed credit union if you aren’t already a member and open a share account with $5.
  2. Sign up for the PenFed Power Cash Rewards credit card*.
  3. Make at least $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months.
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PenFed Membership. To open a credit card with PenFed you need to be a credit union member and open a share/savings account with $5. To join PenFed, you need to qualify. When you join, browse the drop down list of organizations or locations. If you don’t see one that you belong to, you can always make a one time $17 donation to the national military family association.

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Written by Madison

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