TAuthor Cystal McCraryhis month marks the arrival of Crystal McCrary's new book Inspiration, a collection of first-person essays by black women who are changing the world, one remarkable story at a time. Here, in her own words, McCrary shares the far-reaching impact of their influence, and the top 10 lessons she learned from female powerhouses, including a singer, an environmental strategist, a journalist, an international diplomat, and more.
1. Be open to the excellence and inspiration around you.
Appointed by President Barack Obama as the first African-American woman Ambassador to the Bahamas, Nicole Avant shared a story about her godfather, the legendary music producer Quincy Jones. She talked about being home with him one night watching him write on dozens of pieces of paper, then ball them up and throw them away. She said he must have thrown over a hundred pieces of paper away. Finally, Nicole asked him what he was doing and he said, "Working on this new album for Michael Jackson called