A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Dallas Texas, on March 21, 2018, to discuss Leadership & Character.

Overview and highlights of our Call to Conversation:

Leadership and character are sometimes easier to spot than others, 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 the importance of family time, your child standing up for what’s right, your parents or sibling, a colleague, an educator or coach. Some of the themes/concepts that came from the conversation include: role models and mentors, the value of work ethic, the importance of the family unit, doing the right thing when no one is watching, “widening the plate,” the importance of learning from failure.

When discussing the current college-aged generation it was evident that sometimes we’re rescuing our kids when we really need to ask, “what are we afraid of?” Is it not getting into the right schools? Is it the scoreboard and trying to gain points? Will this generation be as motivated as the last? What is the difference between character and reputation? The analogy of a pearl being made was used: beauty (a pearl) grows out of a negative irritant that is intentionally injected into an oyster. When do we intervene the intersection of values and letting them live? At the end of the day, perhaps we need to focus on the importance of distinguishing the difference between resume values and eulogy values. There is importance in influence and at the end of the day, all we can hope for is that Wake Forest will widen our students’ worlds. It starts with conversation.