(Readers: Please note the blog about the 5th revolution in the US is constructed as a story. While not all chapters are linked, after reading a few recent entries, you might want to start at the beginning. More about the blog and about the author. )

Scene: Jordan and Rock Man at pizza joint continuing conversation about how to get blacks off the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Conversation started “#67 Why Do Blacks Remain at the Bottom Rung of the Economic Ladder?”

Rock Man: “Jordan, I hear what you’re saying about blacks being stuck on the bottom rung. I also hear some of the ideas about focusing on education and not sports. How do we pull this off?”
Jordan: “Rock Man, you and I have both been involved with projects that have been very successful and…”
010114_1941_20RockMans1.png Rock Man: “…and projects that were duds.”
Jordan: “And what was the difference between those projects…assuming that the project was not so outlandish that it had no chance of success?”
Rock Man: “For me, success projects have three key characteristics. #1 a purpose that is easy to understand; #2 timeline to accomplish; #3 ability to link one’s role to the project purpose.”
Jordan: “I agree. Clarity, timeline and link. But I’ll bet not all the projects you’ve been involved with were easy to accomplish.”
Rock Man: “No. In fact, the one’s I worked hardest on and the ones I remember the most were the most difficult…but we accomplished them.”
Kennedy Requests Funding for Apollo Jordan: “An old example but one that I still marvel at how it was accomplished is putting a man on the moon. President Kennedy made the announcement in 1961 and US astronauts landed on the moon in 1969.”
Rock Man: “Today, in that same 8 years, Congress…at least Congress before the revolution…couldn’t agree to support the project, let alone agree on funding.”
Jordan: “Let’s take the Apollo program…the moon shot…and bounce off your reference points. Was the mission clear?”
Rock Man: “Very clear. Put a man on the moon.”
Jordan: “Was the timing clear?”
Rock Man: “Yes. By the end of the decade – 1969.”
Jordan: “Were participants able to link tasks to the assignment.”
Moon Walk Rock Man: “It was probably very easy to decide what to do for almost all tasks. The task either contributed to getting a man on the moon or it didn’t.”
Jordan: “Now let’s use your reference points and the moon shot to guide our mission at hand.”
Rock Man: “Getting blacks off the bottom rung of the economic ladder…and let me add ‘permanently’ off the bottom. We do not need to have someone else start another program 50 years from now.”
Jordan: “Success for the Apollo program was clear. A man on the moon. Throw out some words that describe a black community that has gotten off the bottom rung.”
Rock Man: “You want words, or more description. What do you want?”
Jordan: “Throw out some words. Whatever comes to mind. We can sort ideas out later.”
Rock Man: “Here goes. A black community that is ‘vibrant.” One that is ‘educated.”
Jordan: “Good. Keep going.”
Rock Man: “Never really thought about this before.”
Jordan: “Don’t stop. More words.”
Rock Man: “’Fun loving.’ A black community that is ‘respectful’…and ‘respected’. A community that is ‘supportive of its members and others.’’’
Jordan: “Anything else?”
Rock Man: “Yeah. Community that has ‘independent thinking.’ What I’m trying to say is a community that can make it on its own…you know, that’s independent.”
Jordan: “You thinking of an independent state, or states?”
Rock Man: “No. But a community that has a lot less dependence on assistance from everyone else, including the government.”
Jordan: “Sounds like a great community. So how do we help make it happen?”

Pizza arrives. To be continued.

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