Michael B Jordan & Tracee Ellis Ross Bring Sexy Back for Career Sake as a Signature in Showbiz

The Grammys are coming! Yet, as Awards season rolls-on there’s another casualty due to Covid-19. The Red Carpet before the live show has been quarantined. So far, that’s the case for the People’s Choice and American Music Awards; no cat walks, celeb interviews or fashion slip-ups to set social media abuzz.

With the holidays also a good time for family and friends to gather, this year it feels like 2020 can’t end fast enough. So for some, they’re happy to feast their eyes on Michael B Jordan being named as People Magazine’s sexiest man alive, or to celebrate Tracee Ellis Ross as People’s Choice Fashion Icon.

As if on cue, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson joked that he’s not ready to concede the ‘sexiest man’ title. It’s something he won a few years ago. But People magazine editors say going into each year’s final selection they give thought to what the world wants and needs at that point and who’s bringing sexy back.

Jordan and Ross add style, looks and mojo to showbiz like the king and queen they are. Their pre-Hollywood careers helped set them up for making waves today. At first, Ross worked in the fashion magazine industry and credits her mom, Diana Ross a fashion icon herself, in forging her dreams.

But maybe it’s also the way they engage the consciousness of fans that adds to their mainstream appeal. Whether it’s with the diversity rider in hiring talent at his production company, or supporting #MeToo initiatives in her off-screen roles, they inspire us to strive and arrive with:  

  • Clout

Ross has her own, even though she could have gotten some from mom. It’s a matter of how she builds-up reputation which takes time to turn into clout. In the early part of your career, reputation follows you. But in later years when reputation goes before you, that means it’s been built up with its own track record.        

  • Chops

Jordan and Ross have developed their acting chops for primetime in a way that attracts large audiences. It’s in how they bring to life a character and bring character to life. That’s also been true for their career success. It’s about bringing to work a skillset and bringing a skillset to their life’s work.        

  • Calling

Clearly, the acting and biz side of things aren’t all that they’re about. They are often very vocal when it comes to social justice issues. Calling for them is seen not as a call to self-service but to higher service. While for some Calling might have a religious feel, it’s really about connecting with humanitarian zeal.   

  • Culture

Some might drool, swoon or even lust for their presence, but their impact is in what they do for the culture. They seem to cause a wake-up, level-up, serve-up, rise-up effect on people. Some celebs might impact us in one or two of these areas. But they don’t let things go to their heads as they keep it real.     

It’s hard to imagine that the Red Carpet will be back for the Grammys. Plus, word is that the holidays are going to be much different this year with Covid-19 taking its toll on gatherings. But if we can hold on a bit longer while using time wisely, we can come out on the other side shining a little brighter.        

Tip: The ladder of success has rungs that take you from skillset to your best yet.

Talkback: For the Grammy nominations, who got snubbed and whose fans feel a little rubbed?

Tracks: Common – The Light – https://youtu.be/OjHX7jf-znA

Brand Nubian – Don’t Let it Go to Your Head – https://youtu.be/500F9W1qku8

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Turned Campaign Trail Moments Into Career Trail Magic

It’s T-minus-70 and counting towards the inauguration of the next U.S. President. The campaign season came to a halt when the projected winner was declared by media and other independent observers. As a gradual shift begins to unfold around Washington, some still hold on for dear life to a different reality.

Going from candidate to “you’re hired” has ups and downs, twists and turns, ebbs and flows. Over these months we saw political ads with their views on certain issues. We could review their professional backgrounds covering years of public service. Then it’s the people who made the hiring decision.

Along the way as candidates debated and fund raised, they hoped to win primaries like rounds in a boxing match. There were good rounds and bad rounds which helped determine who survived and who exited stage left. Biden and Harris on the campaign trail was like where the magic happens on the career trail.

A potential candidate for a job gets to respond to a company opening. They’ll send in their resumés as a professional background summary. Then the decision is made among the hiring team on who gets the call back. Plus, there’re intangibles (like an endorsement or referral) that can change the outlook in a flash.

While the campaign trail had its nasty-lie moments, we can learn what it takes to jumpstart the job search, advance career moves or rebrand a biz venture. Along the way, folks are checking the record and comparing notes. They’re watching to see who makes the grade or who’s worth getting paid based on:

  • Ambition

The difference between Biden and Harris is like old-school and new school. Biden has been in the game for many years. Harris has been rising up the charts over recent years. Their journeys came together because of shared ambition. Ambition helps in making a name for yourself and a role for your skills.      

  • Vision

Biden’s vision is about unity of purpose in saving the soul of the nation. Since Harris isn’t at the top of the ticket, her vision lines-up with Biden. But from a history-making standpoint, she probably shares that broader vision of women breaking the glass ceiling in their careers.      

  • Reinvention

Biden has run for President three times. He had a chance to reinvent himself the last two times. He says it was the events of Charlottesville that got him into the race the third time. Sometimes when career goals seem hard to come by, we have to find ways to reinvent ourselves to better meet the moment.  

  • Connection

Beyond qualifications, it’s also connection that helped things come together as running-mates. Harris first knew Biden when she was Attorney General of California and his son Beau was AG of Delaware. What she probably was reminded of was that people don’t care how much you know, but how much you care.   

Biden and Harris might ask what’s your reality? Is it stuck on past miss-steps or geared to future step-ups? When people see how much you know your stuff, they say you’re good. But when they sense how much you care, they can tell you’re good for the part. That’s how they bring magic to what they do.        

Tip: Your ‘happy’ is in bringing magic to what you do by how much you know and how much you care.

Talkback: What’s it like seeing “you’re hired” and “you’re fired” getting played out right before our eyes?

Tracks: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic – https://youtu.be/UqyT8IEBkvY

Pharrell Williams – Happy – https://youtu.be/ZbZSe6N_BXs