Group photo from the C2C in Bermuda Run, NC on April 17, 2019

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Bermuda Run, NC on April 17, 2019 to discuss Leadership & Character.

Overview and Highlights of our Call to Conversation:

  • Summary: Courageous conversation points to courageous action. The conversation centered on personal experiences – frequently from the perspective of ancestors – that framed a broader view of the attributes of Leadership and Character. There is a common commitment to fostering dialogue which leads to action, the specifics of which are to be determined by individuals and voluntary associations. Participants expressed an interest in continuing the conversation and reuniting.
  • Highlights:
    • Stories of mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, students, coaches, and teachers who demonstrated character (frequently under challenging circumstances) through putting a greater good ahead of self.
    • From diversity there can arise consensus – about service/leadership informed by an awareness of the higher good and commitment to reasonable exploration about what that means in different contexts, from different perspectives.
    • Character can include values and virtues, discernment and wisdom, candor, integrity, authenticity, humility and modesty, trust and perseverance.
    • There can be a cost to character.
    • A connection between religious tolerance and national character.
    • “Step back, don’t flare.” Be ruled by reason and purpose, not letting emotions and passion overrule reason.
    • “You can defend your country … or help make your country worth defending.”
    • One aspect of leadership is to be equitable. To be equitable is to accept less than one is due, even when right (the law) is on your side.
    • In the context of practicing the law, distinguishing between legal and moral – what is justice?
    • Those who are admitted to top-tier institutions of higher learning, like Wake Forest, have the opportunity for their best education. A caution, in the words of a wise grandmother with a 6th-grade education, is not to become “smart fools.”
    • Wake Forest leadership ought to take to heart the need to demonstrate character, in addition to sponsoring conversations. “What makes us different?”