CNNs Soledad O’Brien Looks at Silicon Valley as the Next Promised Land

Business Motivation for Getting America Back to Work

The Biz Desk
Soledad O’Brien recently hosted her latest “In America” documentary series. This time the focus was on whether Silicon Valley, the hot-bed for technology innovation, is the next Promised Land for African-American entrepreneurs. The program features eight startup companies trying to raise venture capital investments in their businesses.

All the entrepreneurs are modern-day geniuses. But to get to the next level they had to make a:

  1. Change: – Some quit their job, left family behind or relocated to make it happen
  2. Choice:- The living arrangement probably wasn’t their first choice, of being under the same roof
  3. Challenge:- They went through some experiences that could have made them complain.

The same is true in today’s unstable economy. If you’re unemployed, maybe you have to make a change in the short-run to reap some “change” in the long-run. If you’re underemployed maybe you can choose to make a greater difference to raise your value. The challenge is in how you overcome the obstacles.

The Biz Desk invites you to post your comments below or you can send a personal note on Facebook or Twitter to @DocCunningham; on Linkedin to @DOCCommunications.

Work Life
O’Brien got the bug for journalism during a broadcast internship. She took some time-off from her education at Harvard but later returned to complete her studies. Many might remember her from her days as co-anchor on NBC’s Weekend Today. A few years into the assignment her co-host passed away suddenly while covering the Iraq war.

She later went on to become co-anchor for CNNs American Morning before establishing a niche in special news coverage and documentary reports. She’s being tapped again to anchor CNNs morning line-up. O’Brien has received awards too numerous to mention. Her professional accomplishments, probably guided by a statement of purpose, are a story in:

  • Getting in the game
  • Leverage your expertise
  • The right can-do attitude
  • Landing the perfect assignment

O’Brien has taken some issue with the fire-brand, personality-driven style of news coverage that puts “making news” as a priority over reporting the truth.

Life’s Work
In O’Brien’s autobiography “The Next Big Story,” she chronicles her American journey through the land of possibilities. She tells of her bi-racial upbringing and how that has “colored” her life. She remembers having to convince her bosses of the importance of certain stories even though they were not “sexy.”

That was among the first situations that helped to define her life’s work. Her experience covering Hurricane Katrina was also a turning point. It allowed her to see how she could make a lasting impact in the lives of young girls. Her foundation continues to provide scholarship and other mentoring resources.

Street Talk (Social Commentary driving change!)
The Super Committee in Congress has proven what most thought would happen. They weren’t able to agree on deficit reductions to the Federal budget. Each side is blaming the other for falling short. It’s true that automatic cuts will kick-in anyway. But it shows how Congress is out to lunch.

It seems like they’re operating with a “lose-lose” approach to governing. Each side is concerned about its own issue at the expense of the larger issue which is accountability. Who do they think they’re accountable to? Is it to special interest and the campaign money trail, or is it to the American people?

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