Group photo from the C2C in Far Hills, NJ on 3-11-19

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Far Hills, NJ on March 11, 2019 to discuss Leadership & Character.

Overview and highlights of our Call to Conversation:

  • We discussed leadership and character through the lens of our own lived experience, sharing stories of people that have touched our lives – from parents to physicians, children to classmates. One thing that we mentioned at the dinner was that we focused on personal examples. Often we think of leadership as something that we see only in prominent public figures, but our discussion highlighted how important character is in creating “everyday” leaders.
  • One of the themes that ran through our discussion was the idea that character and leadership require empathy – an ability to look outside ourselves and recognize the problems and struggles that those around us face. Then it requires us to go one step further and try to help in whatever way we can.
  • We talked about the importance of resilience to leadership and character. While not everyone felt that struggles/hardships were required to form good character, we all saw that the ability to persevere and overcome was an important part of leadership.
  • We discussed the importance of faith and spirituality in shaping the worldview and values from which character and leadership emerge. Religion is often the basis for forming communities that encourage the formation of good character.
  • We considered the question of whether good character was innate or could be learned. And as often happens with discussions of nature vs. nurture we came down somewhere in the middle!
  • Finally we looked at how leadership and character look different in a digital age.