Building Bridges that Transform

On October 7, 2011, the brilliant, dynamic, engaging Dr. Randal Pinkett delivered the keynote address at the Philadelphia Minority Enterprise Development Week’s 2011 Awards Reception.


To many, Dr. Pinkett is best known as the winner of The Ultimate Job Interview on the 2005 season of The Apprentice, the reality television show in which celebrities and business professionals compete for the chance to run one of Donald Trump’s companies.  Admittedly, I had not watched the show.  But it is his impressive bio (which includes a Rhodes Scholarship, a Walt Byers Scholarship and 5 advanced degrees), his firm handshake and witnessing his brilliance firsthand that has made me a Pinkett fan.


Dr. Pinkett, in his address, issued some practical advice to entrepreneurs, including the following powerful message:  “Take a minute to look within, look around, look back in order to do a better job of looking forward.”


I take from this message an invaluable reminder:  Success rarely shows up by accident.  Success is possible when clear distinctions are drawn.  Distinctions such as defining what is, what isn’t, what is needed, what is missing… answers to these questions will ultimately make the possible, possible.


While Dr. Pinkett spoke, my imagination got the best of me; and I visualized the process for building bridges.  I thought about the distinctions required to build a bridge.  One should not build a bridge unless he understands that (1) the bridge can solve problems of land access and vehicle traffic, (2) that it is feasible to build it, and (3) that people
will use it.  If he builds the bridge without affirming the distinctions, the bridge could change the landscape around it.  But if he builds the bridge after affirming the distinctions, then the bridge will have a greater effect – it will TRANSFORM lives and the community around it.


Whether it applies to the way I approach designing for a client’s home, or managing my business, or structuring my life, or contributing to my community, I am as successful as the way by which I address the distinctions.   I could change the landscape or transform lives and communities.  I choose the latter.


In your life, what bridges do you need to build?  Distinguish them.  Look within, look around, look back this will make it possible to build them.


Special thanks to Dr.Pinkett for his powerful message.   It fueled my drive to build bridges of transformation.