Javier Farfan, whom you met in the last chapter, exudes casualness—from his beat-up Chuck Taylors to his slightly tousled hair. When he talks about his life, it sounds like he's thinking about it all for the first time, reminiscing in wide-eyed wonder at the fortuitous chain of events that landed him at Verizon with a mandate to turn the place into a New Majority monster.
Don't buy the nonchalance.
Javier is way too smart to make a move without a clear plan—a suspicion he confirms when he mentions that his office décor isn't just soothing to his taste. It's there to send a clear message. His Columbia Business School diploma sits next to an early copy of the hip-hop magazine he cofounded. Jay Z's on the cover—that is, the old Jay Z, the Brooklyn guy who was just being discovered. Jay Z's eyes stare ahead, as if he's watching the Spanish-language hip-hop playing on Javier's TV.
Javier's office is a performance, as is he to an extent—and a damn good one at that. The office projects Javier's cross-cultural credentials, only along two separate axes. Javier spans Hispanic, black, and Asian culture; at the same time, his reach extends from the streets to the pinnacle of the Ivy League and from the hit-driven music business to the rigidly analyzed world of Accenture consulting. Javier's bona fides as a change agent are written into his biography.
Javier works in marketing, and he's technically responsible for the multicultural segment. ...