Next Generation Speakers
Dr. James J. Williams Still Standing
Inside This Issue:
Leadership Planning This Is Your Year
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Editor’s Note... Just days ago we crossed over into another decade and now the first month is in the history books. What will the rest of the year look like? That’s up to you! Next Generation SpeakersMagazine is here to help you make the most of this year! This magazine could not be possible without the support of our Sponsors, Columnist Speakers and Reader like You! We have some incredible things in store for 2020 that you don’t want to miss! Please share this out with all of your network to help us reach the masses! Your feedback is critical to the development of this dynamic magazine. If you have any concerns or suggestions about the magazine please don’t hesitate to contact me: Email: Cicone@ciconeprince.com Text: 251-753-6299
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............................................Editor’s Note & Table of Contents .........................................This Is Your Year
...........................The Urban CEO Summit & Award Ceremony ...............................................Still Standing
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I just want to know one thing, Who’s Got Next? Cicone C. A. Prince NGS Magazine Editor
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This Is Your Year!
Every year millions of people make the statement “This is my year”! I don’t believe anything is wrong with making that statement at all. I think it’s a statement you should make every year you are alive. This doesn’t mean something is wrong with your life, or that something is wrong with this year or any of the past years either. The truth of the matter is, this year could be your year, and every year could be your year. To make this a reality you will need to do some basic things. The more you do these things the better you will make your year, and your life. We will discuss 12 things you can do throughout the year to make this your year. 1-Work on yourself You must make the commitment to work on yourself throughout the year. Working on yourself is doing all you can do to make you a better person. This is the first thing you should focus on the most in order to make this your year. The more attention you place on becoming a better person then the more you will enhance yourself, which will definitely help you enhance your life. It simply terms, each day you need to do your part to be a better you. Working on yourself will make you a work in progress to become a better person. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you work on yourself very often. 2-Set Goals It’s pretty close to impossible to make this your year if you don’t have goals. Not only should you have goals you should have goals set in every area of your life. Having goals set in every area of your life will help you live a balance life. Any and every area of your life where you don’t have goals is an area of your life where you have a hole. If you don’t have goals set in any area of your life then you will live in a hole in that area. If you are in a hole set a goal. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you set goals very often. 3-Make Plans If you don’t have any plans, that’s probably a good indication you don’t have goals set either. You won’t be able to get your goals if you don’t have plans to get them. Goals won’t be achieved without plans, and plans won’t be made without goals. The plans you make is proof that the goals you have are important to you. When your goals are important to you then plans will be made by you. Many people don’t like making plans because they feel nothing ever goes how they planned it. The truth is, most of the ways you plan don’t happen that way. A main purpose of plans is to help you stay, and get back on track to get the things you want. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you make plans very often.
Anthony L. Gantt, Ph.D.
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STILL STANDING Nobody would look at Dr. James J. Williams childhood and call it charmed. As a matter of fact, you’d be hard-pressed to predict any kind of a future for kids born into the abject poverty of Cleveland, Ohio in the 1960s.
Young James’ early life was no better than most, and often worse. Living in the neglected inner city, he was raised with his three younger siblings by a single mother, the victim of domestic violence. James witnessed that violence at the tender age of six. Instead of following in those footsteps, however, he took a different path: One of humility, hard work, and humor. His chosen path worked. There were bumps along the way, without a doubt. But James’ mother had instilled in him a confidence and a vision. He had goals, and they did not include repeating the hardships and cruelty that he had experienced. With every step backward, James grew smarter about how to proceed. He learned that he had to ask questions, protect his own interests, and make wise decisions whether life was treating him fairly or not. He learned not to compare himself negatively to more fortunate peers. Most of all, he took steps to achieve his goals: An educated life, a happy family, and emergence to financial independence.
Dr. James J. Williams He did well in high school. So well, in fact, that he was awarded scholarship money for college. But in his third year, the funds ran out and he was forced to suspend his education. After a couple of years of working part time jobs, he signed on to an eight-year contract with the U.S. Army Reserve so that he’d have the money to complete his college coursework. Keeping his eye on the prize served him well; he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems 14 years post high school. Today, Williams also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and graduating Class of 2019 having earned his Ph.D. in Public Management and Leadership. He followed that up with a retirement from a distinguished military career that spanned 31 years. This commitment went well past his original 8-year commitment, achieving to top warrant officer rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5. He credits the service not only for his education, but for the ability to travel the world extensively and to be trained for his career as a cyber security professional. Dr. Williams is the author of the multiple award-winning Chasing the Eagle: From Dreaming to Achieving Success & Freedom, and a contributor to Dr. George C. Fraser’s compilation of inspirational life stories, Mission Unstoppable. In 2010 he started his own independent publishing firm, Rising Eagle Publishing, after learning firsthand how difficult it could be for a novice author to have a manuscript published using conventional avenues. His company’s tagline is “Putting Your Mind on Paper,” and its mission is to help other aspiring world-changers to share their knowledge and experiences. Best of all, according to Dr. Williams, he is proud to be happily married and father to their son and raising him to be a well-educated Christian young man who serves others with kindness and generosity. 7
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NGS: What inspired you to become the person present day?
Dr. Williams: Sometimes you choose your career, and other times your career chooses you. I’m a native of Cleveland, Ohio, born to humble beginnings. I was accepted into Howard University during the summer of 1985. I did not tell my family, however, because when I was accepted into Morehouse College the year prior, my mother became very ill. It was indirectly suggested that I should not attend. So I didn’t. This time there was no stopping me to attend Howard. I didn’t tell my family until the weekend before my departure. Off I went in a 1979 Chevette - with $100 and a dream. For two years everything was great, but in my junior year, my scholarship funds had been depleted. Imagine you’re sitting in a college class. The campus administrator enters, pulls you outside, and says, “You owe us $2400. Unless you can pay it, we have to withdraw you from the university.” I withdrew. I didn’t have a backup plan, however returning to Cleveland was not an option. There just were not the kinds of opportunities for a young, ambitious person like me. With that, I continued working odd jobs, but I kept noticing the Army billboard that said “We Want You.” I initially joined the Army/Army Reserve with the sole purpose of completing my degree. After 31 years, I finally retired on October 1, 2019. I enlisted as a PFC [Private First Class], an E3, because I had earned college credits (from Howard). I retired as Chief Warrant Officer 5. That’s the highest rank achieved in the Army Warrant Officer Corps. That achievement was the inspiration behind my dissertation project in obtaining my PhD. My research study focused on black male achievement in the military rank structure. I am finally P-h-Done… and very humbled to have made a valuable contribution to society through research scholarship. NGS: When you learned that you had to leave school, you ultimately opted for military service. What advice would you give other young people who find themselves in that situation? Dr. Williams: First, anyone fortunate enough to have family fund their education should appreciate those resources and not take it for granted. I was not so fortunate. I was born to teenage high school dropouts, so education became very important to me. Moreover, my later grandfather had a third grade education and could neither read nor write. In fact, he signed his name with an “X”. People who have circumstances like me should never give up. I didn’t obtain my undergraduate degree until I was 31 years old. I worked two jobs, went to the military reserve on weekends, and took college courses at night. I’m proud to tell you that I am now James J. Williams Ph.D. Even at age 55, it’s never too late.
NGS: You grew up in a family that was on public assistance. What was the glue that held you all together? Dr. Williams: We didn’t have money, but we had a lot of fun. We smiled. We joked. My siblings and I used to cut food advertisements out of magazines. We would cut out a photo of McDonald’s Big Mac from a magazine article; rub it against our stomachs, and say, “I’m full now.” We kept a sense of humor. It was just my mother and her four children, and we stuck together. Today we’re all productive citizens, and Mom is very proud that we all productive citizens despite living on public assistance. NGS: What would you say to people in that situation to help them realize that they can overcome their current circumstance? How do you show them that the solution is within them, but that they have to reach inside to find it? Dr. Williams: The answer lies within your question: It’s intrinsic motivation. I was raised around negative elements, but my fortitude motivated me to believe that I didn’t have to stay in that place. As a child, I had no control of my circumstances, but when I became an adult I set my goals and pursued my dreams. My advice would be to write down your goals and dreams. I always visualized mine, and would continue to remind myself that reaching them wouldn’t take much longer. After all, this is America, the land of opportunity, and my dreams can be fulfilled. Nothing will be handed to you. Our ancestors fought on my behalf years ago, and I feel an obligation to bring that success to my 15-year-old son. I want him to know the contributions that his father made, and never experience the poverty that I faced. I’m proud to have done that. To me, that’s the ultimate success. A few summers ago, I took my son and his best friend on a road trip to Ohio. My son didn’t know how or where I grew up. I took them to my old dilapidated house, and I said, “James, this is where I lived when I was your age.” He cried. I get emotional now just talking about it. I drove him through my old neighborhood. I took him to see my old high school. I think it is important that he sees where I come from so he can compare it to where I am today. He has never known anything other than the blessed lifestyle that he has today. That explains another major motivation in my life: I didn’t want to give my one and only son the kind of life that I experienced. It’s not about the wealth and money; it’s about the legacy as well.
CW5 (Retired) James J. Williams, United States Army. 11
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continued from page 11 NGS: You wrote an award-winning book entitled Chasing the Eagle: From Dreaming to Achieving Success and Freedom. What was the thought behind writing that book? Dr. Williams: That book had lain dormant for almost 10 years. Chasing the Eagle starts out describing my childhood and my upbringing, but I wanted to get past that. I knew there had to be other events in my life as an adult that would make the book become what it is today. So I also talk about what it’s like to be mobilized in the military post 9/11. I talk about being single and on the verge of marrying the woman I’ve dated for eight years. I talk about how I didn’t ask the right questions about my initial work contract, and how the company let me go when my wife was five and a half months pregnant and our house was under construction. I talk about what it does to your manhood at age 40 when you’ve finally decided to marry and take on parenthood. It’s not a rosy story. There were many peaks and valleys, but I was able to create more chapters with those experiences, about confidence, and about holding on to your dreams no matter what. Publishers and other authors found it very interesting, and I am proud to say that the book garnered eight national & international book awards. Not bad! NGS: You contributed to another book titled Mission Unstoppable: Extraordinary Stories of Failure’s Blessings, which features Dr. George C. Fraser and Les Brown as well. What was that experience like? Dr. Williams: It was a very good experience. Dr. George Fraser wrote the foreword to Chasing the Eagle and I’m very proud of that. Having proven myself as an award-winning writer, author, and publisher, it made sense to join forces with professionals who have done this for decades. In Mission Unstoppable, my story is included in 31 stories of success. I elaborated on a portion of a chapter of my first book and called it I Pledge Allegiance to My Dreams. It chronicles my story of serving in the military as a cyber security professional for two years post 9/11, which is how my cyber security career started. After that, I got a salaried employment contract with a sign on bonus, but I did not ask the right questions. It turned out that the state of Maryland is an “at-will” state. That means you can be offered a job and a salary, but your employer can let you go for any reason. Well, I got smarter. That’s what pledging allegiance to your dreams means: Making sure you ask the right questions so that you can protect your own interests and reach your goals. I started to ask questions like, “How long is this contract offer?” and “At what point are you in the contract now?” These types of questions let me make informed decisions regarding my employment and my career path. I didn’t ask those questions early on. During this time, I was happy, married, and going to be a father at 40. I was going to have a son and name him after me. That was the substance of my chapter. It received rave reviews because it resonated with a lot of readers.
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continued from page 13 NGS: How do you define success? Dr. Williams: I talk a lot about that in my book, Chasing the Eagle. I created a formula that says success plus freedom equals fulfillment. I have met many people who are successful in their craft, in their skill, or in their career, but they’re not happy. These individuals have no sense of freedom. They’re making money, but they’re exhausted and they’re always away from their families. They’re not feeling balanced or fulfilled. They’re at the mercy of their company. If you’re working for a corporation, you’re being told what to do to earn a paycheck. Earning a paycheck is valuable. Earning a life – priceless! True success is family. It is doing something you love. Success is defined by who you wish to become, and not what someone else thinks you should become. NGS: You have an amazing list of achievements and accomplishments which came with hard work, dedication, and commitment. Nothing was handed to you. Dr. Williams: I just want eight words on my tombstone: “Here lies a man who maximized his potential.” NGS: Thank you for this extraordinary interview. Do you have any final thoughts you can leave for our readers? Dr. Williams: It is said that that which is most personal is most universal. I attempt to encapsulate and embody the universal story of overcoming disadvantages, trials and opposition to boldly realize my dreams. In 1985, I left my native Ohio bound to the Nation’s Capital in pursuit of success & freedom, but most importantly – fulfillment! My only possessions were a suitcase, a 1979 Chevette, gas money and a dream! Ultimately this treasure hunt would take decades to discover. There were equally as many defeats as there were victories; stumbling-blocks as there were building-blocks, and most certainly failures & disappointments as there were successes & triumphs. In the final analysis, I applied a formula that ultimately became my recipe for having a great life:
SUCCESS + FREEDOM = FULFILLMENT During these tough economic times, things are changing rapidly. Beyond the shrinking dollar, unemployment, home foreclosures and other challenges that threaten our families and communities, many Americans are finding out that success and freedom have become an endangered species. I know exactly what it means to grow up having less. If America would become the land of milk & honey, she certainly overlooked the east side neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio where I grew up. The very thought of success and achievement became a daily struggle for me. Today, I proudly live a different reality and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy to bring those experiences to you. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s make it a decade to remember!
Dr. James J. Williams
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This Is Your Year!
4-Self Discipline Self discipline is the key to help you with all achievement. The better you get disciplining yourself then the better you will continue to do what your plans are to get your goals you have set in every area of your life. You must tell yourself what to do then do what you told you to do. This is self discipline. The more self discipline you are the more good things you will get, and keep in your life. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you are self discipline very often. 5-Conquer Procrastinating One bad habit you must work on getting rid of is procrastination. You will not be able to make this year a good year if you consistently put off doing things you need to do personally and professionally. Whenever you allow procrastination to become a part of your life it will negatively affect every area of your life. Conquering procrastination is being diligent in what you do. Diligence will lead you to much more success in your life very often. The more diligent you become then the more you will accomplish in your life. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you conquer procrastination very often. 6-Do Good Habits It’s pretty close to impossible to have a good year if you don’t do good habits. The more good habits you do then the better your year will be. Doing too many bad habits will assure you that your year will be bad in many areas. Good habits will not allow you to live a bad life, or have a bad year; while bad habits will not allow you to live a good life, or have a good year. Find people who have good habits that you want then do them. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you do good habits very often. 7-Manage Your Money Regardless to the amount of money you have doing better with your money is imperative. Money plays a large part in your life. Not only does it play a large part in your life it will continue to play a large part in your life for as long as you are alive. This doesn’t mean you have to love, or worship money. What it does mean is, you will always need to manage money better to help you live well. The better you are with the money you have in the present will place you in position to have more money to handle in your future. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you manage your money very often. 8-Healthy Relationships Focusing on being in healthy relationships is something you must do. This isn’t just intimate relationships with your spouse, or significant other. Being in healthy relationships are important for all types of relationships such as; parents, children, siblings, friends, co-workers, etc. Unhealthy relationships cause the most distractions for many people trying to make positive things happen. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you are in healthy relationships. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you do good habits very often.
9-Read Self Help Books You must read self help books throughout the year if you want to make this a better year for you. Having a habit of reading self help books will help you in many areas of your life. The best way for you to be ready for a better year is by becoming a better reader. Reading is one of the best ways to learn how to get pass yourself, and your personal issues that are hindering you from living better. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you read self help books very often. 10-Physical Exercise Physical exercise is important for you to do. There are many things you can do as physical exercise. Now, you don’t have to be in the health club every day all day, or run a marathon ever month. But you can do something physical a couple of times a week. It could be something as small as a few leg raises, or a walk around the block. You must do some form of physical activity as a way of life. Obviously, you should check with your doctor first to see what type of exercise would be good for you to do. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you do physical exercise very often. 11-Spiritual Connection I personally think it will be very difficult to go through life and not have some form of spiritual connection. I call my spiritual connection GOD. Now, you may have another name for what your spiritual connection may happen to be. It’s not good enough just to know that there is something spiritual. It’s being connected to something spiritual that’s good. It’s very easy to do good things for yourself, and towards other people when you are connected to your spiritual connection.80/83 The better your spiritual connection the better you will be as a person.96 If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you have a spiritual connection very often. 12-Think Positive Thinking positive may seem like a cliché to some people. Thinking positive is necessary to make it through the year, month, week, and day. The fact is, every day won’t be rosy. Some days throughout the year will be downright terrible. This is why positive thinking is so necessary for you to do. Thinking positive is the only sure way to get you through the negative experiences that can happen in your life. All of the previous things I mentioned will help you to think positive. It is very easy to think positive when everything is going your way. However, you will see how much you need to think positive when it feels like everything is not going your way. If this is going to be your year then you must make sure you think positive very often. Anthony L. Gantt, Ph.D. is an author of 20 plus books on self help and entrepreneurship. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, trainer, consultant, and coach both personally, and professionally. He is a veteran of the United States Navy. Also, he is a father of two wonderful people. Webstore: Unknowngreatness.com Email Address: email@example.com Phone number: (773) 984-9848
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