Select Video Clip...
Biographical Details of Leadership
Contemporary Lens on Black Leadership
Historical Focus on Race
Parental Values – Hard Work and Education
BOND: Before we go there, let me go back earlier to your life. What did your parents do?
WILLIAMS: My father was a lifetime worker at the post office. He became a supervisor at the post office. My mother did a lot of different things. She was a dental assistant. She was what we now would call a telecommuter. She was a secretary and worked at home, did a lot of work for large corporations in Chicago. She managed a dry cleaners. She did a lot of different things. She was a creative woman who really had a great vision about what you needed to do in the world of work.
BOND: What kind of values did they impugn to you, did they insist you adopt?
WILLIAMS: Hard work.
BOND: Was that the main one?
WILLIAMS: They expected me to work hard, although it was interesting. My mother was always worried about me having part - time jobs that would detract from my education. And so she was always very suspicious of that.
BOND: So how did she balance this conflict?
WILLIAMS: Well, that was the one source of tension between us because I wanted a part - time job to have some extra money and she wanted me to focus only on the books so we worked out a compromise. It worked out.
BOND: How did you work that out?
WILLIAMS: Well, I was determined and so was she. [laughs]