Great Lessons From Great CEOs
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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That’s just a few. In identifying 10 CEO icons who have appeared on the pages of Black Enterprise over the past four decades, we found they shared common traits–vision, order, focus, strategy, and passion–as well as the need to bring along the next generation of black entrepreneurs, progeny or not. Here we’ve culled from our archives personal reflections and timeless advice that offers a glimpse into their formula for success and the means to help position your company to achieve greatness.




Reginald F. Lewis
Late CEO, TLC Beatrice International Holdings Inc.
On strategic alliances:
Probably all of our deals will involve forming alliances with key operating people, combining our strengths, which are primarily strategy- and finance-oriented and involve a certain level of creative positioning in the marketplace with the knowledge of people who have grown up in … whatever industry it is. That combination, that marriage, if you will, is what the marketplace is looking for because in today’s world you need all of these elements.

John H. Johnson
Late Chairman & CEO, Johnson Publishing Co. Inc.
On management:
I run scared every business day and use every legal means necessary to survive and grow. I believe in hands-on, hands-in, hands-wrapped-around management in which you delegate freely and check on people every day. The most important thing a manager can learn is the ability to analyze a situation and quickly think his way out of it.

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