Call to Conversation gathering over brunch at Wake Washington Center on December, 2017. Group 2.

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over brunch in the Wake Washington Center on December 10, 2017, to discuss leadership and character.

Our group of D.C. metro area parents, alumni and staff shared examples of when we have seen good character and leadership in action, identified barriers to being good leaders/exemplifying character and offered advice for how Wake Forest can develop leadership and character traits in our students.

Many of our stories focused on family members who had demonstrated admirable qualities of leadership and character.  As these and other stories were shared, a few themes developed around:

  • Humility & grace.
  • The simplicity of kindness.
  • Standing up for core values.
  • Good character often follows overcoming obstacles and challenges.
  • Good stewardship.
  • How often character and leadership come at some cost.

We found that barriers to exemplifying good character and leadership include:

  • Immediacy of everyday life and emphasis on efficiency (not taking the time for relationship building, not taking the long view, etc.).
  • Often society doesn’t reward/honor these traits.
  • Lack of good, authentic role models.

Finally, our group offered advice for Wake Forest to consider in developing these traits in students:

  • Allow students room to make mistakes.
  • Model good leadership and character at all levels in the University (admit when we are wrong, etc.)
  • Expose students to good leaders and role models outside the University.