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Rael Jackson, president of Real Men Cook

Rael Cook
Please describe your leadership style as CEO.
I like to lead by example. If a task requires physical labor, I want people to see that I’m willing to work just as hard as everybody else.

What is your mission statement?
To build healthier families and communities.

What three skill sets are critical for the future executive that you hire for your organization?
1. Accountability
2. Selling
3. The ability to bring people together and create harmony

How does having an advanced degree benefit you and your clients?
I believe I know how to find answers, create and test hypotheses, and I always dig deeper. Some people look at Calculus, and say they never use it in the real world, but I see everything as a variable or constant. My goal is to try to account for as many constants as possible, and then I can usually predict the outcome. If I see too many variables, I usually try not to go down that path. I’m constantly seeking knowledge through books, conferences, and seminars. I understand branding and innovation, so I provide new realms of possibilities for clients to activate and leverage their brands.

How do you utilize technology to benefit your organization?
Technology allows us to connect and communicate directly and frequently.

Finish the sentences:
Team work is important because … nothing great can happen alone

The best way to recruit great talent is … success and promoting that success, people gravitate towards achievements and possibility.

Speaking a second language is important because … languages open new areas of thought and communication, whether it’s the language of math or Spanish

What social media platforms do you engage in the most?
I prefer Facebook, it’s entertaining and I get to see a wide array of views and opinions.

What professional organizations do you support?
National Urban League and Chicago Urban League

Describe your networking style.
I’m an introvert, so I like to watch the room. I usually connect strongly to visionaries and decision makers, so I try to find the most powerful/influential person in the room… everybody eventually gravitates there any way.

If you were giving a graduation speech to college students what would the title of your speech be and give three reasons for that selection.
Credit, Savings, and Value
1. Credit is your reputation and it opens doors. You must also give credit to those who come before you, and show respect to those that help you along the way
2. Savings… we waste so much money on frivolous things, and developing the habit of saving is the only way you won’t be a slave to debt and can become financially successful
3. Value… money and finances isn’t everything, and you must have your priorities in order and understand what’s of value to you. Value is what helps you stay focused, it’s what helps you save, it makes sure you’re not living beyond your means and can maintain your credit.

Name your two favorite vacation destinations to relax and recharge and explain why you like them.
New York is the best place for me to recharge, flying in I feel like The Jetsons. It’s the only place with more action than Chicago, and everybody’s hustling. Nassau, Bahamas is my favorite place to relax, because I love the ocean and sun, and my fraternity brothers run the island… Dr. Davidson Hepburn was the Ambassador to the United Nations for the Bahamas, and he graduated from FAMU.

What are you currently reading and what are your two favorite books?
I’m currently reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelations for the second time, but the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and The Laws of Success by Napoleon Hill are my favorite… Robert Greene and Napoleon Hill are authors that have me re-reading over and over again

Name three business or political leaders who inspire you.
Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright
President Barack Obama
Percy Sutton (I was able to talk with him a few times before he passed)

Favorite sports team and hobbies… Chicago Bears, Working Out, Reading, and Sun Bathing

What are your two favorite quotes that motivate you?
My grandfather always said “To thine own self be true,” and when I read the full passage… it starts off “Neither borrower nor lender be.”