The Black Godfather, Clarence Avant

February 01, 2022 | 1186 Views

The Black Godfather, Clarence Avant

Felicia White, CHT, Doctoral Candidate

CHART President-Elect | Director, Franchise Training | Scooter's Coffee

Film executive and actor Tyler Perry, rapper and music executive Shawn Carter (Jay-Z), Hall of Fame baseball player and business leader Hank Aaron, and former President of the United States Barak Obama are all very well-known names and leaders in their respective spaces. They are each from very different backgrounds, but all have one person in common – Clarence Avant.

Entrepreneur and music industry legend Clarence Avant, also known as “The Black Godfather,” is considered a mentor and connector for the individuals I noted (those are just a few of the names, by the way). Each of them have stated they attribute their success, in part, to Clarence Avant. Mr. Avant is not an actor (although he did appear as an extra in The Color Purple), never played baseball, is not a politician, neither is he a musician (his success in the music industry is attributed to the successful negation of music deals). His gift was serving as a mentor, advisor, and connector for these individuals. He knew how to get the right people in the right room, and more importantly, how to get others to see their own greatness and demand recognition for it.

As a training professional, I am reminded of Clarence Avant this Black History Month because he symbolizes the core importance of our role. We connect, mentor, and advise – in addition to training. Helping others be successful is why we do what we do. We may not ever meet the people we impact, but that impact can be seen through their business growth, improved performance, promotions, and happy guests. Mr. Avant has never held a starring role (except in the 2019 documentary about his career), is not in the Hall of Fame, and most people would not recognize him walking down the street. He works in the background, taking no issue with pushing others into the spotlight.

Don’t get me wrong. Clarence Avant has his own personal success, but it is the success of others where he has truly secured his legacy. This Black History Month, I encourage each of you to be reminded of your own personal greatness as seen through the greatness of others.

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Comments (1)

  1. Kaylene Carlisle:
    Feb 02, 2022 at 11:27 AM

    I needed to hear this reminder Felicia! Thank you!