This weekend I was drawn to reflect on leadership. This past week amidst controversy, Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as the new head of state for Kenya. Earlier this week I heard about the death of the long-time leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, and the hospitalization of 94 year old Nelson Mandella. And of course there was the resignation of Pope Benedict a short while ago and now the imminent choice of a new leader for the world’s largest religious denomination.
Yesterday, I attended a seminar and healing circle as a prelude to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be held in Vancouver this fall. The abuse that went on in Canada’s residential schools amounts to one of the deepest failures of leadership in the past. The abuse went on for over a century and now it may take generations for healing to take place. The grace and welcome shown to us by native leaders yesterday was remarkable in light of having experienced such pain at the hands of church appointed teachers. It was a day of hope.
Today was the inauguration [They used the word installation but it sounds too much like what we do with appliances. Inauguration simply means a “formal beginning” and this is what it was.] of our new college president. Representative civic, academic and church leaders spoke eloquently about visionary leadership that leads to communal and global betterment. This event also gave me hope; hope in the next generation of leaders that we are training in our institutions.
I have not frequently thought of myself as a leader or reflected much on the qualities of leadership but a few years ago I was asked to speak on “leadership in the next generation.” I will post the script under “published articles” tomorrow when I get to the office if you are interested in reading my reflections.