Business & Leadership

Donald Glover: A Modern Renaissance Man

Whether he is pushing himself to try new things, or perfecting his work in a field that he has already mastered, Donald Glover puts his heart into everything that he does. His versatility and willingness to experiment has helped him to achieve success in almost every creative field imaginable.

© By NASA/Bill Ingalls

Whether he is pushing himself to try new things, or perfecting his work in a field that he has already mastered, Donald Glover puts his heart into everything that he does. His versatility and willingness to experiment has helped him to achieve success in almost every creative field imaginable.


When it comes to taking risks, Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino has always jumped at the opportunity to try something new. At only 33 Glover has managed to gain success as an actor, rapper, singer, comedian, writer and producer. After securing a job writing for the hit television show 30 Rock and winning Emmy awards for his work on the show, Glover decided to quit and try his hand at stand-up comedy. Although his friends, family, and fans were confused by his decision to leave such an amazing job, Glover became a well-respected name in the comedy world, with live shows around the country and a critically acclaimed Comedy Central special: Weirdo. While his comedy career took off, Glover pursued one of his many passions, music, by performing and recording under the stage name Childish Gambino. After releasing a few mixtapes and smaller projects, Glover released his first studio album Camp. As he continued his rap career Glover began to push the limits of the genre with his sophomore album, Because the Internet, which he released with a corresponding screenplay. In Because the Internet Glover played with themes of afrofuturism and this generation's relationship to technology. To the surprise of many, Glover was able to rack up two grammy nominations from this experimental album. Along with those nominations, Glover also received awards for starring in the sitcom Community. To this day Glover continues to push his own boundaries and try new things. The TV show that he wrote, produced and starred in, Atlanta, was just renewed for a second season. Glover is also set to star in two major motion pictures, The Lion King and the newest Star Wars film. Although it was a departure from his usual sound, Glover’s latest funk album Awaken My Love has been his most popular project to date. He did all this while raising his two year old son.

 

Although he now enjoys the fruits of his labor, life wasn't always easy for Glover. He grew up in poverty and faced racism throughout his whole life. Instead of letting these hardships set him back, Glover used his experiences in his art. In his comedy shows he makes jokes about his childhood and the struggles his family faced growing up. He turned memories that would upset most, into reasons for audiences to laugh and smile. In his music, Glover tackles the issue of racism and talks about being “too white for the black kids and too black for the white kids.” Through his music and on screen appearances Glover became the face of the black nerd, giving voice to many young black people who didn't see their experiences reflected in mainstream media.

 

Donald Glover is a leader in his field because he doesn't restrict himself to one form of expression. He gives himself room to experiment and grow even if that means moving on from something that might guarantee him fame and riches. When things get too easy for him, he tries something else. His passion for creativity and expressing himself through different artforms drives all of his endeavours, which allows him to deliver truly amazing performances and projects. Glover never lets himself get too comfortable, with ever changing career goals he is able to not only challenge himself, but also other people in the entertainment industry by showing that it is possible to be versatile. In an interview with Arsenio Hall, Glover says, “I don’t want to be ok with where I’m at. I never want to settle...I always want to be going for better.” Glover not only tries new things but he gives every project his best effort and his complete attention. Instead of just being an actor who dabbles in rap or a rapper who acts on the side, Glover fully dedicates himself to all that he does. His ability to take risks without fear of failure and strive for perfection in everything that he does makes Donald Glover a true leader.

 

 

Ugochi Egonu

 

Photo: By NASA/Bill Ingalls - https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/20716556524/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43180641

 

This article is dedicated to our monthly newsletter “Leaders Wisdom Journal”. To Subscribe.

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