Group photo from the C2C in Dallas, TX on February 22, 2019

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Dallas, TX on February 22, 2019 to discuss Leadership & Character.

Overview and highlights of our Call to Conversation:

  • We told personal stories and those in the public sphere, as well as debated whether character is learned or innate, or both. Towards the end of the evening, we also questioned how leaders can emerge when in business (and especially in public companies), it is difficult to take a step back and consider long-term impact of leadership as so many companies push a quarterly and even weekly performance mindset. Would it be possible to have success if companies rewarded character over cash flow?
  • Here are a few ideas we all brought the table:
    • Leadership takes empathy, courage and honesty.
    • Leaders are good listeners and take time to learn/understand another person’s story.
    • Leaders with character “do the right thing” and operate by the “buck stops here” or “I own this” standard.
    • Leaders bring character “to the board room” and stand up for what they believe.
    • People with character are often welcoming and loving and exercise mercy, care and grace with others.
    • Leaders with character are open to other voices which is why conversation and dialogue are so important.
    • The ideal leader knows his/her values and therefore knows how to respond in many situations. They are intentional and consistent in their leadership and exercise character when no one is looking.