By Dave Ongie
Those who know Adam Dickson will tell you he’s humble, collaborative and passionate about bringing people together.
Last week, those attributes earned Dickson the title of “Modern Man,” according to Black Enterprise Magazine.
The magazine, based in New York City, has millions of readers and has been in publication since 1970. The editorial staff picks 100 BE Modern Man honorees from around the nation each year, and last week Dickson earned his moment in the spotlight.
Dickson, a regional community development coordinator at Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union, said his co-workers got the ball rolling on his selection.
“I was sharing with our executive team a lot of useful information we receive from Black Enterprise,” Dickson said. “They happened to come across the whole program they offer and submitted the actual application.”
Dickson’s success story started when he was a young boy growing up in Telford, where his mother gave him what he considers to be the best piece of advice he ever got – “Be your own man.”
In that quest, Dickson identified three traits that have allowed him to build what he jokingly refers to as “Adam Dickson, Inc.” – the willingness to collaborate, the desire to build consensus and the commitment to practicing servant leadership.
Dickson’s willingness to work with others to solve problems is probably rooted in another piece of advice his mom gave him – always listen.
“That helped me over time, listening to people and trying to hear where people are coming from,” he said. “If we take the time, hopefully we can get overall consensus. I really do believe that when we can all come together and sit at the table, that’s when we get fresh insight, innovative ideas and we can really make things happen. We need to be working together, because at the end of the day, we are a community.”
The servant leadership? Dickson also attributes that to his mother, who took him to church week after week. The lessons learned on Sundays quickly took root and endure to this day.
“No master is greater than the servant, and no servant is greater than the master,” Dickson said.
Unfortunately, Dickson’s mother passed away last November, but her legacy lives on as Dickson works each day to put the lessons she taught him into action in an effort to help others.
“It is very exciting to come to work every day knowing that we’re helping people, that we’re engaged in very positive activities that are uplifting the community,” Dickson said.