BE Modern Man: Meet "Atlanta's Public Servant" Michael Sterling - Page 2 of 2 - Black Enterprise

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Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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BE Modern Man - Michael Sterling

During the greatest recession our country has seen in 80 years, Sterling was handpicked by the Mayor of Atlanta to join his team as a senior advisor. Atlanta was faced with declining income tax rolls, over 100 million in revenue loss, and tough choices about priorities in public safety, and rising unemployment. “We had tough choices to make about priorities in public safety, rising unemployment, and how to effectively deliver city services for Atlanta residents,” Sterling tells BE Modern Man. “Even during those difficult times, we fought hard to serve the residents of Atlanta and I have had the opportunity to reform one of the city’s most dysfunctional organizations.”

Taking advantage of every opportunity placed in from of him and then delivering results has allowed Sterling to emerge as a leader amongst his peers. “People want to know that you have good intent, that you are always getting better professionally and that you deliver results. If you do those things, you build credibility and trust.”

One of Sterling’s favorite quotes is that “greatness, it turns out, is not a function of circumstance, it is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline. Many BE Modern Man hopefuls are looking up to and watching Sterling’s moves as he serves the City of Atlanta. “I would tell those young men that hard work cannot be substituted and that no matter what professional pursuits you want to pursue, or what goals you want to achieve, hard work and self-discipline are not optional, it’s essential,” says Sterling. He also warns against doing things that can easily stunt your personal and professional growth. “In this hyper connected social media world, don’t find yourself doing something that takes you out of the game. You are always on the clock.”

Clocked in and making an impact, Sterling says that “Being a BE Modern Man means working to set an example that others can follow through living a life that is worthy of the title and that can stand up even under public examination.” Sterling was once told that young people may not listen to you, but they will imitate you. “Being a BE Modern Man means that people are imitating you in a positive way, and that it is a good thing.”

The BE Modern Man team salutes Michael Sterling for committing his life to one of service, and helping the city’s unemployed and underemployed find work while assisting the city’s businesses find the talent they need to survive. We support Mr. Sterling as he continues to provide hope and opportunity to the residents of Atlanta that need his services.

It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.

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