In the final article of the three-part exclusive interview about her new book, ACC President and CEO Veta T. Richardson wraps up her conversation with ACC Associate Vice President of Editorial Strategy Tiffani Alexander.
Below, she reveals the most important skill you need to excel in your career. Read part one and part two of the interview, which dive into Veta‘s book: Take Six: Essential Habits to Own Your Destiny, Overcome Challenges, and Unlock Opportunities.
Tiffani Alexander: You’ve added author to your impressive portfolio. What’s next for you, and can you share a little of how you’ve come to, or are coming to, that decision? I think it’ll maybe inspire someone to figure out what is next for them.
Veta T. Richardson: I know that my path behind me at ACC is a whole lot longer than I want the path in front of me to be. That's because first I see the need to ratchet down the pressure, to ratchet down the “go, go” and the level of responsibility. To give myself more room to breathe and enjoy, while still wanting and working to make a difference.
A couple of years ago, I formed a community arts foundation. One thing that I have seen that separates the people who go far from those who get stagnated is communication skills. I believe you can be the smartest person in the room, but if you can't communicate both orally and in writing, it doesn't matter. If you cannot communicate, people are going to skip over you.
Therefore, being someone who's conscious of all that has been invested in me by so many people to get where I am, I want to use my foundation to support marginalized communities and children.
How can the foundation use theater to help them learn, read, and perfect their literary skills, their awareness, language skills, and ability to project confidence?
I’ve watched my sister use theater to help these communities. I’ve watched her with the shyest children, even those on the Autism spectrum, who step out of themselves and take on a character with confidence and projection.
I love the arts and while I didn't go that route, I want to find my way back to it — to go full circle. I want to spend more of my time in the arts-related world, working with children and enhancing their ability to succeed through the arts.
That’s my next stage: continuing to invest in people.
It's given me joy all this time, as has the relationships that I forged and the people with whom I've worked. The biggest source of pride for me is to see people that I knew when they were 20, who are now 40 with families and investing in others.
I believe you create a positive ripple effect by investing in people, who in turn invest and leave a positive impact on others. That’s what I hope to continue.