Group photo from the C2C in Florence, SC on December 4, 2018

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Florence, SC on December 4, 2018 to discuss Leadership & Character.

Overview and highlights of our Call to Conversation:

  • Our examples of character included colleagues, neighbors, community members, teachers, friends, family and other professionals. Some common characteristics that we recognized in the people who made an impression on us included humility, selflessness, respect for themselves and others, compassion, willingness to make decisions even when it involved personal risk with little or no personal reward, willingness to reach across differences and accept people as human beings, and going above and beyond what is expected (often at great personal sacrifice) in order to make a difference in the life of another or a community.
  • We observed that the qualities embodied in a strong character transcend culture, political affiliations, economic backgrounds, and geography.
  • We grappled with the question of how we instill character in the next generation. We discussed modeling in big ways and small and being mindful of the fact that we are always modeling and impacting, even when we do not recognize it ourselves. We discussed the heightened importance of modeling in light of the rhetoric that seems so prevalent in today’s society and the behaviors demonstrated by those in positions of power that often go against some of our fundamental notions of character.
  • We discussed the importance of open and honest dialogue and listening. Everyone has a story, and as different as our life experiences may be, if we are willing to be open about our own observations and experiences and to listen to those of others, we can find common ground. What makes us different pales in comparison to our similarities.