Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeBUSINESSPassion on Purpose with Errol L. Pierre

Passion on Purpose with Errol L. Pierre

“I hope they find themselves in the stories. I hope they uncover nuggets that change the trajectory of their career. I hope that Black professionals also give themselves a little grace, as well, realizing that corporate America was not built for us to succeed.”

Errol L. Pierre 

 

Purpose is an interesting journey. It is one that we do not always figure out instantaneously. Sometimes it takes some twists, turns, and bends in the road. Errol Pierre can attest to this fact. Before becoming the esteemed professional, he is today, he spent some time working in a hair salon while in college. This encounter shifted his course of action professionally.

 Better yet, it sent him on a path that changed his life. When asked about the event, Errol recalled: I was getting paid $7/hr. working in a beauty supply store stocking shelves, and helping customers when a woman walked up to me and asked me if this job was the only thing I do. I replied no and let her know that I was a full-time college student and track athlete.”

“We exchanged information, and that chance encounter turned into an internship at the largest for-profit health insurance plan in New York. The woman who I met in the beauty salon that day was the Chief Operating Officer of the company! Shampoo changed my life and I never looked back. By the time I turned 35, I became the Chief Operating Officer of the same plan many years later.” 

Call it fate or the right place right time; either way, Errol Pierre saw an opportunity, took a chance on himself, and ultimately found his purpose. A motivation that he passionately keeps at the forefront of his causes. Specifically, as it relates to being a voice for Black and Brown people in Corporate America when asked what drives him, Errol replied, “I once was, and at times still feel like, a Black professional in corporate America that is overlooked in the workplace.”

“After the racial reckoning in America following the murder of George Floyd and the disproportionate impact of COVID on Black and Brown communities, I felt compelled to share my story of starting in a beauty supply store and ending up in the c-suite for a major health insurance company.” “First, I wanted to provide a rubric for how I climbed the corporate mountain, that sometimes-required lateral moves as opposed to a ladder, and share tangible advice and recommendations for people of color as a way to give back to my community.” 

“ Second, I wanted leaders from corporate America to get an unvarnished look at what it is like for their employees of color as they try to move up within their organizations with the hopes that they would be inspired to make changes.”

By all accounts, Errol’s passion for his community is one of the reasons he wrote his book, The Way Up. In it, he details his journey through corporate America. He takes the reader on a ride. Detailing the importance of maintaining a sense of self all while navigating the world of corporate America. 

“The Way Up is the culmination of two years of writing, two years of doctoral research, over 10 pages of research citations, 20 years of experience in Corporate America, and 11 interviews with executives of color from many different industries. Each chapter tells a story and ends with a lesson. There are 15 chapters, so 15 lessons, all with actionable and tangible advice and recommendations on how to be successful in the corporate world without losing your soul and maintaining your mental health.” 

For any Black or Brown professional in corporate America, whether it is in healthcare or another professional institution, The Way Up is a template for young Black and Brown men and women who refuse to be overlooked in the workplace. When asked what he wanted the takeaway to be for Black and Brown professionals who read his book, his answer was honest and hopeful. 

I hope they find themselves in the stories. I hope they uncover nuggets that change the trajectory of their career. I hope that Black professionals also give themselves a little grace, as well, realizing that corporate America was not built for us to succeed. There are unwritten rules that we are unaware of, but I hope this book sheds some light on those rules so readers can avoid the mistakes I made and pitfalls I faced on my journey up the corporate mountain.”

 

 

Candis JohnsonInterview Done by: Candis Johnson Candis Johnson is an author and freelance journalist from NJ. She is the editor of the Literary Magazine series SOUL as well the erotica anthology Erogenous Zone. She has a passion for music and the artists who create it.

RELATED ARTICLES

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisment - The Virtuous Hour Radio Show Ad

Most Popular