Call to Conversation gathering in Austin, Texas, on November 28, 2017.

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Austin, Texas, on November 28, 2017, to discuss leadership and character.

Leadership and character are not always easy to spot, but everyone at the table had a wonderful story to share about a time they saw leadership and character in action. Character can be exhibited by a loved family member, a figure from college, someone taking part in a volunteering opportunity or organization, or from a member of our own local community. Leadership is when those of high character either consciously or subconsciously make an intentional effort to help others through acts of kindness, respect and love.

Sometimes we almost expect leadership and character, so it’s easy to overlook a situation when those qualities are lacking. We often find ourselves in the practice of placing others in stereotypes or bubbles without even knowing them.

Some of the key words from the night included: loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, compassion, courage, selflessness, authenticity, and integrity. While it’s easy to get trapped in your own community bubble, the Wake Forest community encourages and inspires students to embody these key words and sentiments. This allows us to create a place where we can empathize and see value in character through the “high calling of our daily work.” When we see leadership and character in motion in this way, it is a gift of recognition.