Dawn Of A New Era

Black businesses must develop a financial plan to remain viable in the new century

the mirror and face its demons.

David Steward, CEO, world wide technology inc.
0n incorporating spirituality into your company culture
The biblical principles are very powerful. Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

That basic philosophy is about caring and sharing. It’s key for businesses to use these principles to create a collective vision for the environment.

That means constructing an organization that is built on putting others first. We demonstrate that principle through some of the things that we have done at World Wide: supporting our people through a benefits package that takes care of the employees as well as their spouses and children; matching their 401(k) retirement plan contributions dollar for dollar; making an investment in their career through educational programs; providing them with the autonomy to make creative decisions; and encouraging them to be entrepreneurial. This culture of sharing and caring reaches suppliers and customers as well.

I walk around the company and convey that message to our employees, including our interns. I let them know that we are family and that we must be committed to one another. CEOs, now and in the future, must realize that they must focus on the individual. Everything flows from him or her. As it says in the Good Book, “You reap what you sow.”
David Steward serves as the CEO of St. Louis-based World Wide Technology (WWT), the leading company on the be industrial/service 100 with $413 million in gross sales. The 1999 be Company of the Year, WWT had a 105.5% revenue jump in one year due to the company’s New Economy focus on using the Internet to serve its customers. He always has been a corporate leader who practices what he preaches — Steward has taught Bible study courses to local business leaders.

Terrie Williams, Founder And President The Terrie Williams Agency
On forming strategic alliances
Strategic alliances are the lifeblood of a successful business.

I’ve always said that relationships are the key to success. We may not realize it, and our inclination may be to work solo, but the fact is that two heads are better than one. It’s the way to do business.

Whatever may be holding us back — ego or fear — it’s important to make sure that we step outside our comfort zones and be aware of what’s going on in our respective industries and in the world at large. A well-rounded individual will be better prepared to make the connections, establish a relationship, and maintain that relationship.
It’s about having what I call top-of-mind awareness. Connect with people on a human level. Read as much as you can. Be aware. Keep your eyes and ears open. It’s about going to places that might make you a little bit uncomfortable. Have a plan before you go and, once there, make sure you have things to talk about. Knowledge and information are power — and you can use that power to establish contacts that may ultimately lead to joint projects or partnerships.

There’s definitely strength in numbers. My business is now focusing on high-level consulting, and sometimes we
pick up a

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