Much of my time at Gallatin was devoted to studying the concept of leadership in history and in the arts. For my final project in Judith Sloan’s “Oral History, Cultural Identity and the Arts” course, I interviewed subjects who weren’t leaders in the formal sense of the term. They weren’t public figures. They were people who were leaders in smaller communities or people who had fallen into leadership roles. While they may not be great politicians or great innovators, their followers rely heavily on their wisdom, their counsel and vision.
As one of the leaders interviewed offers: “You have to lead by character…When you speak, they don’t always agree with you, but they respect your point of view, and listen to you, and in the crunch accept your leadership.”
What drives these individuals? Where does their passion come from? This is what I aim to uncover in “Unlikely Leaders.”