Mentorship, Challenges, Race 01/18/2017



I feel very honored and privileged to bring you this week’s #WednesdayWisdom. The incredible value and honesty provided by our guests is truly inspiring. Will Baggett is currently  a Strategic Brand Mgmt. Coordinator, IMG-CLC and is also the author of the book “The Blueprint.” (I have included a link below in which you can purchase the book.)

What better way to show your appreciation for an individual than writing a book in her honor? That is powerful and an incredible learning experience along the way. Will shares some of that below. . .

What inspired you to write the book Blueprint? What did you learn while writing it?

My inspiration for writing The Blueprint is two-fold. For starters, my high school English teacher is the one who first believed in me and planted the seed. The Blueprint is dedicated to her memory in appreciation of the tremendous influence she had on my life.

From a content perspective, I simply wanted to help other young professionals—simple as that. I’m a major proponent of mentorship, but I realize not everyone is fortunate to reap the benefits great mentors provide. I have that in co-author Tai M. Brown, who is the Director of Education at the American Football Coaches Association. Not only did he empower me to take on the project, but he had a major hand in the content and structure.

In retrospect, I learned more about myself than anything as I was crafting The Blueprint. Time after time, I found myself taking my own advice because I was working through the same challenges I was writing about. For anyone seeking to write a self-help book, if you can’t actively help yourself in the process, you’re doing it for the wrong reason.

We all face challenges in the work place. As an African-American I was interested in learning the unique challenges and any resistance (if any) Will has faced working in sports. No matter your color, we can all take a couple of nuggets away from Will’s approach to his life and career.

Have you faced any resistance or challenges being an African-American working in sports?

Whether you are black, white, green, or purple, you will always be faced with challenges of some sort. The only difference is that they will vary from person to person. In my view, my biggest challenge has been not having a sports background.

When it comes to diversity, however, there are low-visibility and high-visibility factors to consider. In reality, if one was to peel away the layers, I could easily have more in common with a non-minority. You just never know, so you have to look beyond the surface and really get to know people.

Nevertheless, I would be remiss not to acknowledge that we as minorities do face certain challenges. Recognizing that the lens magnification is intensified, you have to be “on” to the point it becomes habitual, and I have no problem with that. It has motivated me to be that much more detailed, that much more productive, and that much sharper. I believe if I simply control what I can control; the rest will take care of itself.

After speaking with Will and learning about his motivation for writing his book. “The Blueprint” is on my reading list.

Twitter: @W_Baggs
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