We had the good fortune of connecting with Darcell Streeter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darcell, what do you want people to remember about you?
I am a minister, Helper and an inner development specialist. I want to be remembered as one who helped others transition their lives from transactional experiences to transformative living.
I remind anyone I meet that the sum-total of life is far better than the adversity in any of its parts.
Life is cause and effect, input and output. Over time, a person may have external growth from transactional experiences, yet no emotional transformation to help improve the quality of their existence.
My role is to help you get the “dirty work” also called the “inner work” done by using the “technology of change” to facilitate transformation on a personal and spiritual scale.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career has been amazing because I’ve had the benefit of working across a variety of demographics such as business, politics, nonprofit, public administration, faith-based, and community outreach.
I am grateful for a few significant professional achievements. The first came with a great lesson. I was recruited from public administration to work as the Opportunity Program Manager (diversity director) for a Fortune 500 company. This was a new role created by the company.
Here is the positive-side of that experience:
Very shortly after my hire, I was selected by the company for the Momentum Women’s Leadership Program. Momentum is a premiere program for women in Alabama that advances equity for women through rigorous executive leadership training and more. During this time, I worked with the company’s Diversity Council to successfully design a pay-performance metric that supported the company’s D&I goals. I had a great relationship with the Council chairman, not so much with one if its members who would soon become my supervisor. I remember the Chair gave me my first copy of the book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman. I was immediately sold on the theory of EQ, yet did not internalize the concept until a couple years later.
Here is the learning side of that professional experience:
I had two influential men with whom I did not have positive relationships. One was the VP of HR, a middle-aged White man, and the other was a member of the diversity council, a younger Black man who served as the Second VP Human Resources, then later elevated to the Ethics & Compliance Officer. When I learned my reporting status changed from the VP to the Ethics Officer, I was suddenly faced with a personality conflict that I totally mismanaged. I struggled to employ the tools from my leadership program, my executive coach, and the chairman of the diversity council. My performance became emotionally driven instead of passionately focused. The relationship with my supervisor diminished quickly. One year later, the company went through a reduction in force and I was laid off.
Lessons learned: Excellence begins with self-leadership; and I do not grow from what I know, I grow from what I employ. This is why it’s critical to employ the right tenets. They will build your dreams.
My next notable accomplishment was as the first African American Executive Director for the Republican Executive Committee of Duval County, Florida. Serving as the first Black person in that position was a life event. However, it did not come without adjustments for a few of the almost 300-person committee members who had mixed feelings about my appointment. Modeling behavior became critical and point #2 from my mentor, “Stop trying to be excellent for others and be of excellence because you are” went into full effect.
This position provided me a real challenge in strategically balancing the role I was hired to lead and the tasks I was required execute.
While at the Duval County GOP, I established a partnership with the International Visitor’s Corp of Jacksonville, FL, serving as a Citizen Diplomat and facilitator for foreign delegations visiting the United States. In addition, I reached out to the local elementary and middle schools to partner on their student activity programs. Through this partnership, students would field trip to our local office where I facilitated discussions on civic engagement, elections, and the journey of a bill. The partnership was significant because it allowed the office to be a community presence beyond political meetings and election cycles. It allowed me to reach across the aisle in a non-partisan way to demonstrate genuine community engagement.
Finally, my experience as a consultant has connected me to great public service opportunities. I served an appointment to the Alabama State Textbook Committee (2006) and the Florida Commission on Human Relations (2010). These roles helped me understand policy and community engagement from a top-down level. I also expanded my network which opened the door to public speaking opportunities.
The more I connect to communities, the greater my desire to be part of meaningful conversations and advocate for resources that help them move forward. I have served as a volunteer advocate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the US Global Leadership Coalition, CARE International, and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), to name a few.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live oceanside Hallandale Beach in Broward County, Florida. We would walk across the street to the beach and relax the day’s travel away. The next day would be waterfront brunch at either Juniper On The Water, Shooters on the waterfront, or SALT Waterfront in Miami. The evening would include live music somewhere along the Broadwalk in Hollywood Beach or Fort Lauderdale. One day would be spent down in the Design District of Miami. One afternoon would be spent in Las Olas, and one or two nights would include my home cooking (everyone loves) as we watch the boat traffic on the Intracoastal, my backyard view.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My success is attributed to a tribe, though not all from one place.
I’ll begin with each of my parents. They were not married but equally tenacious. My ability to lean in and remain focused comes from watching them gird up in the midst of any challenge and move ahead.
Next is a corporate executive coach from 2005-2006. Her name is Verna Ford. She is a leadership coach, executive coach, and D&I advisor. She doesn’t realize the depth of her influence over me. I’ve maintained these three takeaways: (1) Learn the leader within before you begin to lead others; (2) Stop trying to be excellent for others and be of excellence because you are; then you will excel; and (3) Diversity & Inclusion is not something you do in the world, it is the way you exist in the world.
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