Dr. William F. Pickard understands how the ability to adapt to change can lead to long-term success. Standing as one of the nation’s most prominent business leaders, Dr. Pickard seeks to inspire the next generation with his new book, Surviving The Shift.
On Jan. 19, a capacity audience, mostly students from Spelman, Morehouse, Clark Atlanta, and Morris Brown, filled the NASA Auditorium at Spelman to hear a keynote and fireside chat from Dr. Pickard. He opened by sharing a speech about his humble beginnings in LaGrange, Georgia and the road he took to become a CEO of multiple enterprises. One of the primary keys to success is cultivating relationships.
“Relationships are critical,” Dr. Pickard told the audience at Spelman. “I would suggest you be nice to everyone you meet. Especially your roommate. Once you know your mission, get you a coalition. Be nice to people because relationships matter.”
Once key relationships are established, Dr. Pickard urged the audience to build teams through strategy.
“You need people who can make things happen,” he said. “You got to have a finder, minder, and a grinder. Once you find it, you have to have minders. That’s the MBA the CPA and all the people that mind the business on a day-to-day basis. But then there’s a third person. You got to have people who will show up on Monday…I don’t care how good you are, you have to have people everyday. You can not manage a McDonald’s by yourself. And that’s the same thing with manufacturing and casinos. To me, the most important thing we do are our people.”
Following the speech and fireside chat, Dr. Pickard signed copies of Surviving The Shift and spoke with several students who asked for advice.
He also spoke with ADW about the importance of giving back to HBCUs. “This is where I spend my time and my money,” Dr. Pickard said. “The potential is here and all of us have a gift…Don’t give up. If I can make money in America, anybody can make money in America.”
Prior to the book signing at Spelman, Dr. Pickard was honored by Morehouse with an oil painting that was commissioned in the school’s chapel. Dr. Pickard’s painting hangs on the wall alongside paintings of prominent individuals such as Booker T. Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, President Barack Obama, Maynard Jackson, and Oprah, to name a few.