Poised For Excellence Book Signing

Kayla Irby, Howard University News Service

Karima Mariama-Arthur signs her new book at Howard University bookstore.

Author Karima Mariama-Arthur speaks at her book signing- Photo by Kayla Irby.

Author Karima Mariama-Arthur held a signing for her book, Poised For Excellence March 7 at the Howard University bookstore.

Arthur started the conversation about how to be an effective leader. She discussed her own responsibilities as a leader and answered multiple questions from the audience based on her professional experiences and accomplishments.

She further explained her mental process while writing the book, and mentioned it took a lot of work. Arthur said she learned a lot during the making of Poised For Excellence and that it was definitely worth it.

“I think you have to humble yourself a lot too when you go through this process as an author because you may go in with one idea–that I did, and it came out on the other side almost completely transformed with the feedback and everything that I learned,” Arthur said.

“Leadership is really steeped in the idea of service to self and service to others, a lot of times you just think about leaership as sort of looking outward, but the book certainly instructs,” she continued.

Arthur also mentioned the importance of mastering your own self and own character.It is essential before being able to teach and direct others. She concluded that we “always lead by example,” and working on yourself is the baseline before continuing on to the next step as a leader.

An audience member asked “How do you see the concept of perseverance and continued leadership?”

“Perseverance is something that is near and dear to my heart, it’s something that I work with clients about. There’s a chapter of the book of course called Grit or True Grit Beats Passion,” Arthur answered.

She further answered the question by referring to Dr. Angela Duckworth’s remarks on the segment, TED talks.

“Her idea is that if any of you have a goal, you need passion because you have to have a desire to want to do it rather thats achieving your education, you have a career goal, any type of personal achievement you have to have a desire deeply within in you to achieve that goal. But passion alone won’t get you there, because you’re going to have some dark days,” Arthur said.

Arthur discussed how grit will help you conquer bumps in the road, even when you feel doubtful. She says you need this grit in your gut to continue on through dark times.

Another person in the audience asked, “What do you feel like are some of the best characteristics in a leader to lead a team and guide them in a direction that does not have much confidence but instead has much success?”

She answered, “A lot of times we think about all the things we’re bringing to the table, all of the things we’re bringing in terms of giving people stuff for leadership, but one of the critical skills especially within leading a team is being a good listener. A lot of people like to just respond and hear themself speak, but they’re not taking the time to take in the information to understand what is even there.”

“In leading teams you have to be a good listener, you also have to throw your ego out the door, because a lot of leaders come into a situation believing that they have all of the answers,” Arthur continued.

To conclude the event, Arthur lastly gave advice and tips to the audience members that included adults and college students. She stressed the importance of accepting your mistakes and learning from them.

“Just give yourself permission to make mistakes, because they’re going to happen. I make mistakes everyday still, and even in the book I talk about that. It’s very difficult for leaders–I don’t care how great you are, you got to come across mistakes and just own it. But you realize what you do, and you do something different the next time,” Arthur said.


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