Group photo from the C2C in Washington, DC on April 9, 2019

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Washington, D.C. on April 9, 2019 to discuss Leadership in a Polarized Society.

Overview and highlights of our Call to Conversation:

  • We may have named different characteristics to describe leaders who have brought people together, but our examples seemed to resonate around the table. We were particularly struck by the commonalities among some of these qualities, such as restraint, listening, grace, poise, vulnerability, self-sacrifice and empathy, as well as the energy of others, including humor, vision and creativity.
  • How can we steel ourselves against what we should not do in a divisive climate? We decided to be on the lookout for cynicism, entrenchment, superiority and hopelessness as they creep into our own lives and beware of those who view leadership or compromise as a zero-sum game.
  • When we talked about the role of intentionality, we agreed that the idea of “being bold without bowling anyone over” has merit in all of our fields — from business to the arts, and from education to public policy.