An advocate for women’s advancement, Keyon passes down to his young daughters the wisdom learned from a close-knit relationship with his father. He has found these insights to be grounding in a world that is constantly changing.*
What can men do to help their daughters to grow into confident women?
Encourage them to be active in their community. His 10-year-old daughter, Karissa, is involved in her student council, Girl Scouts, a local engineering program and tennis. This gives her the opportunity to build character by working and playing with kids that are from different backgrounds.
Become more involved in their lives. Being at doctor visits, school events and birthday parties is important – as well as doing things together that they enjoy. Take them shopping, help pick out their clothes, go up to their room and hang out with them. His girls appreciate that.
Give them a healthy push. Remind them that anything they start has to be finished. When they commit themselves to a task, they should not give up without trying their best.
Teach them time management. By assigning them tasks, chores, and responsibilities (such as cleaning their rooms, keeping their clothes organized, washing and drying dishes), and caring enough to make sure they are completed, parents can instill order and discipline – important qualities that children will need later in life.
What can men and women do to create better communication between their genders?
Invite people to share their opinions. When men and women are in groups or meetings, they should make each other a part of the conversation. Ask questions so that everyone [both genders] can offer their point of view. Diverse perspectives are better for business.
* Keyon is part of the FedEx Ground EDGE Program (Education and Development through Group Experiences), which helps participants build meaningful connections and develop as leaders through peer dialogue.
- Who saw something in you when you were growing up that you had not seen in yourself?
That would be my seventh grade Social Studies teacher. He saw potential in me to accomplish anything I wanted to.
- What was the greatest challenge you have faced personally or professionally, and how did you get through it?
It was my first year with FedEx Ground as an Operations Manager – 2005. It was a demanding position, and I was new, so it was a challenge. My manager was supportive, though, and I reminded myself that many of those affected Hurricane Katrina, which had recently struck the Gulf Coast, would love to be in my shoes. That really helped me face the challenge and come through stronger.
- Describe your family. What is the greatest wish for your daughters?
My wife and my girls – we are very tight. What I want for my girls is to love who they are and to be proud of where they come from.
- What is the best advice you have ever received?
My father used to tell me as a kid, “There’s no such thing as can’t.” He would tell me that anytime I wanted to quit or tried something new. I have used that throughout my years to help keep me motivated.
- What is your favorite movie?
“The Color Purple.” It touches on many different emotions. Just seeing how families struggled during that time was eye opening.