Group photo from the Call to Conversation on May 8 in Charleston, WV

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Charleston, WV on May 8, 2018 to discuss Leadership and Character.

Overview and highlights of our Call to Conversation:

  • We heard stories about individuals from all walks of life and in dramatically different circumstances doing the right thing, prioritizing honesty and the needs of others, and leading from wherever they are, in big ways and small. The stories shared around the table reminded us that although it’s easier to dwell on absence of character, we all experience examples of admirable character in our daily lives.
  • Putting your needs behind those of others and thinking about future generations came up in our discussion.
  • The importance of integrity, compassion, and character in those who serve as caregivers was an especially poignant theme. We discussed those in the medical field who give selflessly and serve the most vulnerable among us.
  • We talked about the interplay of character and leadership, specifically within the concept of “leading from wherever you are.” With character, one can make positive change in a community without a big pocketbook or a loud voice. We can’t all “save the world,” but we can certainly make someone else’s day a little brighter. Grassroots efforts and kind gestures on the individual level can change culture.
  • We discussed the importance of diversity and open dialogue in creating and reinforcing good character, and highlighted Wake Forest’s role in providing this experience of “unity in diversity” for young people.
  • Other tidbits that rose to the surface included urging each of us to reject passivity and the comfort of an insular world, to engage in courageous conversation, and to take responsibility and speak up/step up when you see something that isn’t right. We all agreed that it’s important for those to whom much has been given to realize that much is expected in return. We all look forward to witnessing this lifelong Pro Humanitate spirit flourish in Wake Foresters.