The Gumbo Coalition: 10 Leadership Lessons That Help You Inspire, Unite, and Achieve


The Gumbo Coalition:

10 Leadership Lessons That Help You Inspire, Unite, and Achieve
by Marc H. Morial



How leaders can use our differences to strengthen and unite us all


“Marc exalts diversity (gumbo) as a source of great strength, growth potential, and dynamic innovations—and as an imperative for leaders to embrace and actively cultivate if they want to achieve success.”

 — Magic Johnson


Modern leaders are facing a unique set of challenges. While diversity of markets, customers, and talent has more organizations striving to work towards inclusion, many leaders have no idea how to put that buzzword into action. Now, more than ever, it’s essential for leaders to unite people from all backgrounds with seemingly competing agendas for a common cause.


Marc H. Morial, former mayor of New Orleans and current president and CEO of the National Urban League, is a transformative leader who has fought for meaningful change throughout his remarkable career. In his forthcoming book, The Gumbo Coalition: 10 Leadership Lessons That Help You Inspire, Unite, and Achieve [HarperCollins Leadership, May 5, 2020], Morial takes readers on his legendary journey of achievement—from helping his father become the first African American mayor of New Orleans while growing up in the segregated South to his own mayoral race that led to the city’s historic renaissance in the 1990s.


Filled with inspirational anecdotes and action-oriented leadership strategies, The Gumbo Coalition reveals that with the right tools, significant change is possible. During his two terms as mayor, Morial built what he christened the “Gumbo Coalition,” an incredible mixture of New Orleans’ fundamental ingredients—African Americans, Whites, Latinos, Asians, business leaders, grassroots community activists, clergy, and more. Each ingredient brought its own flavor, creating a dish that was able to reduce crime and rebuild New Orleans’ reputation with more power than ever before. Now, Morial fights on behalf of the National Urban League to transform lives and create a community with a voice so strong that nothing can stand in the way of change.


“By taking advantage of the ten leadership lessons of this book, you will not only be a better leader for those in your orbit, but you may very well be setting the pace for a new century of global influence for the country,” says Morial. “So now that you have the recipe, get in the kitchen and get to cooking.”


The Gumbo Coalition facilitates positive change by detailing 10 key leadership lessons to unite all voices, including:


·      What it takes to be a leader who unites and works for positive change in the world

·      How to determine the right course of action—and continue on that course—despite opposition

·      Crucial leadership tenets (“gumbo principles) for offering game-changing results for those you lead

·      How to be a “gumbo leader:” The necessary combination of skills, abilities, and attributes for becoming a transformative leader

·      The best laid plans: Why so many well-intentioned leaders fail to bring their vision to life

·      Hit the ground running: Four critical components for a fast start and why it’s essential for achieving success

·      Build your all-star team: Assemble a group of top talent that will help your plan become a reality

·      How to lead, fight for, and win for your people in a diplomatic way that does not force you to betray your values


MARC H. MORIAL is President and CEO of the National Urban League (NUL), the nation's largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization. As Mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002, Morial oversaw many improvements during his terms, including crime reduction, police reform, and the passing of a significant bond issue. Since his appointment to the NUL in 2003, Morial’s Empowerment Agenda has worked to reenergize the League’s diverse constituencies, to build on the strength of its nearly one-hundred-year-old legacy, and to increase its profile both locally and nationally.

Morial holds a degree in Economics and African American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in addition to a law degree from the Georgetown University.

For more information, please visit

Connect with Morial on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Gumbo Coalition will be available for purchase on May 5, 2020 on Amazon and through major booksellers.



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