Leadership is best defined as one helping others achieve their best. Think servant-leadership. With my daughters, my leadership job as their father is to provide them with their basic needs and the education, experiences, and other support for them to succeed in life.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Edmund H. Moore.
As seen on Dayton NBC and CBS news affiliates, Spectrum News 1, FoxSoul TV’s Black Agenda Report, Black New Channel and more, Edmund H. Moore PhD is active in the community. He is employed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio as a senior engineer and program manager. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Board for the Virginia Tech Materials Science & Engineering Department, a past Board member of the City Wide Development Corporation, a past Board member of a start-up, and is on the Finance Committee for The Dayton Foundation. He is a dedicated member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., the Omega Baptist Church, the National Society of Black Engineers, Sigma Xi, the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), the Air Force Association, and the Keramos Fraternity. He is recipient of several awards, including a Secretary of the Air Force (SAF) Special Achievement Award, an Air Force Award for
Meritorious Civilian Service, a Black Engineer of the Year Award, the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (NAA) Distinguished Alumni Award — In Field of Technology, a Wright-Patterson AFB 2015 Diversity Leadership Awards and numerous of others. Edmund is the proud father of two teenage daughters, Mackenzie and Madison. He is the author of the acclaimed With a Father’s Love: 52 Weekly Letters to My Beloved Daughters at edmundmoore.com.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
As a child, I was always independent. My parents were educators, both college-educated. As a youth, I helped my mother grade her students’ papers. Plus, I was an avid reader — especially of historical figures. I was always drawing and writing something. When it came time to go to college — that was the expectation — I chose the subject I did worst in while in high school as my major to challenge myself.
Many of my classmates referred to me as Senator by the way I spoke when I was a freshman in a history course. In many organizations, it became my job to be the recorder or secretary, so I was always writing. Even at work, I was always writing papers, reports, and the like. Writing has always been easy for me and a personal strength. I even took a speed reading course several years ago to be able to cover more reading material.
Yet, to get to the intent of your question, my divorce was a catalyst for my starting to write books. That divorce and my daughters’ ages have freed me up to pursue speaking and writing opportunities, even in the midst of a pandemic. And I have often been asked to pray and speak at events, formally and informally. Therefore, I like to write and speak to hopefully link others to knowledge that will help them on their life journey.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
My company is named EHMoore People LLC, which means “Ever Helping More People.” By the way, my trust attorney hates the long name of my company. The most interesting thing is that people actually want me to sign books that I write. Being a humble person, I am still floored that people ask me to sign their copy of my book.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know if it is funny, but I thought I could write a book with contributions from community volunteers in the midst of a pandemic in three weeks with no problems and have it published and available six-weeks later. It presented a challenge, which I like. Furthermore, I assumed that in the midst of a pandemic, people would be at home and have more free time to submit material. That was truly a bad assumption. I learned that our assumptions don’t necessarily equate to reality. It was like pulling teeth to get family anecdotes and other material for the book to compile and share. Yet, the book did get done. People are surprised that I was able to pull this off.
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
No man or woman is an island. My contribution to making a significant social impact is two-fold. First, I financially support organizations that are pursuing policies and work that advance the community (e.g., voting rights, equality, economic equity, health equity, and others). I personally write to and communicate in other ways with my representatives on issues that affect the community. Working with organizations like Parity Inc., a Dayton, Ohio-based nonprofit organization, allows me to partner with others to work toward achieving social and economic equity in the community. There is a saying that all politics is local, so start with your own home, family, church before you go state-wide, regional, nationally and even internationally. In other words, maintain your own backyard before you complain about others. As far as my company, I use it as a platform to transfer useful information and advocate by writing books, doing interviews, speaking, and communicating via other media platforms.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
Invest in educating our youth on our true history. The root of our problem is that we operate off of myths vs. factual history. When one does that, it is easy to discount and even demonize others. That allows for many to not treat each other as equals. As a caveat, read your Bible and don’t depend on others to tell you what the Bible says (i.e., a lazy cheat sheet) to avoid being led astray. Be accountable! For example, we should highly value teachers. A teacher’s pay should be equal to or higher than law enforcement personnel’s pay. If you do that, then society will value education vs. incarceration, and we will be a far better country.
Invest in our infrastructure. As an engineer, I know that our roads, bridges, dams, airports, ports, and other major infrastructure is in disrepair. There should not be major cities in the United States of America, even Jackson, the capitol of Mississippi, that have unusable water due to poor infrastructure. One can’t claim to be the most industrialized country in the world and not be able to provide citizens in the capitol of one of its states with portable water. That is when you see that statement as a myth.
Third, we have a major issue of “poorocracy” in our country. Yes, the Bible states in Matthews 26:11 that Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” My definition of poorocracy is the government or society in power discriminating against people based on their lack of economic viability. A caveat, a poor person can practice poorocracy against another poor person. That does not mean that our society and especially many politicians, should demonize and oppress the poor at the expense of the rich. For example, why do poor people in our country and others lack access to quality education, healthcare (physical and brain), food, shelter, and other needs? By our country, the United States of America, devaluing the poor, we oppress them with our public policy and resources.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership is best defined as one helping others achieve their best. Think servant-leadership. With my daughters, my leadership job as their father is to provide them with their basic needs and the education, experiences, and other support for them to succeed in life. On my job, my supervisor provides me with the resources (office, electronic equipment, training, and other support for me to do my job…and excel. Moreover, a good leader sets up their people to advance beyond their current position or duties.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- Value others as much as you value yourself — put your faith in God.
- Effective communication and interpersonal interactions on a consistent basis with shared dreams are the key to long-term relationships.
- Put some money away early in life for the long haul and let it grow with sound financial guidance.
- Listen to the experiences of your elders, and learn from them.
- Before you get tied down (i.e., marriage, children, serious relationships), take on as many experiences as you can while you have the flexibility.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amounts of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 😉
Although I don’t necessarily view myself as a person of enormous influence, I do have an innovative idea about how small to medium-sized nonprofit organizations can become self-sustained using endowments. I would need to approach a major foundation to see (e.g., Ford, Bill and Melinda Gates, MacArthur, etc.) if it could be implemented on a pilot study, and when successful, be implemented full scale. The issue is that the survival of nonprofits that depend on ticket sales and that cannot significantly reduce expenses are most at risk of closing. Many of these local nonprofits are key to needed services in their local communities that local schools, governments and businesses can organically provide. Please note that better management is not always the answer to survival, as if a nonprofit lacks reserve funding to make future investments, their survival is in jeopardy.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
With God, all things are possible. Many times, in faith, I have a vision for something to happen. Then I apply myself and it happens. That has been manifested in my now authoring books, being invited on TV shows and other venues to speak, and giving back to the community.
Is there a person in the world or in the U.S. with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 😉
Mackenzie Scott to determine why she felt a need to invest in the African American community. I, in turn, would pitch my idea of how small to medium-sized nonprofit organizations can become self-sustained using endowments.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I am reachable through edmundhmoore.com or my publicist, O-Media Group, via [email protected]. I may be reached via Facebook at “Dr. Edmund H. Moore”; via Instagram at “author_dr.Edmundh.moore”; and Twitter at “Author Dr. Edmund H. Moore @Edmund Author”
This was very meaningful. Thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!