Introducing … the Carlos Files

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Why you should care

Because we could all stand to sharpen our competitive edge.

An ongoing OZY series with life lessons, great stories and advice from OZY co-founder Carlos Watson. 

You might know Willie Brown as a former mayor of San Francisco, but his political legend began when he elbowed his way to becoming the first African-American speaker of the California State Assembly. From that perch — where he sat for almost 15 years — Brown went on to become the most powerful politician in California.

Brown’s tactics became life lessons for young Carlos Watson — all the way in Miami, Florida, where, in 1980, Carlos’ father taught his son to pay attention to Brown’s maneuverings. The lesson here is about surprise: Sometimes, when everyone thinks you’re going to zig, you should not only zag — but triple-zag.


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