Detavio Samuels

Years in Media & Broadband: 7

Education: BA, Duke University; MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business; MA, Education, Stanford University

My personal superpower is: Leading giants. I am able to attract and unleash some of the world’s dopest creatives and talented business executives to go on journeys to accomplish the improbable. Right now, the current dream team is building a Black-owned Disney. Imagine that—I’ll wait.

My proudest professional achievement over the past 12 months is… REVOLT. All of it. That’s the answer. It’s the team we’ve built. The dream we’ve imagined. The work we do every single day for our culture and our people. Whether people know it or not —and that includes people inside of REVOLT—we are making history. Period. And the crazy part is: we have only just begun.

What habit are you keeping post-pandemic? Swimming daily. I’ve always used my mornings to work out and pray. But during the pandemic I moved to L.A. and added swimming to my daily routine, and it changed my life. Swimming is a sort of daily water baptism that not only provides a full physical body workout but, mentally, it also allows me to wash the prior day’s mess off of me and start anew. Both are invaluable to the life I live.

Last podcast listened to: I’ll give you three by Black creators with the hopes that people will look into at least one of them. If you want to know what’s going on in hip hop, “Big Facts” gives you a super-unique Atlanta perspective. “Earn Your Leisure” is bringing conversations to the Black community around economic empowerment and wealth building like I’ve never seen before. And Keenan Beasley’s, “World’s Greatest Game” is dropping knowledge that is useful, wherever you are in your career.

Your personal D&I epiphany? It won’t work the way it currently exists in most companies. Right now, most D&I initiatives are rudderless and have been reduced to checking a box so companies don’t get in trouble. Humanity’s greatest accomplishments have never been powered by fear but by the courage and faith to accomplish the impossible. Before companies set KPIs they need to dream first. Why are we embarking on this journey? What’s the exciting mission we aim to accomplish? Beyond butts in seats, what’s the new world we are imagining? We don’t need KPIs powering our dreams, we need dreams powering our KPIs. Until then, we will simply have numbers in spreadsheets that keep us out of hot water when Twitter demands transparency—but that’s uninspiring and far from gamechanging.

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