On Leadership: Serving the Common Good

It is impossible to observe the happenings in the world today without thinking about leadership. While our country remains deeply divided on many complex policy issues, leaders across the geopolitical and socioeconomic spectrum are, as John Quincy Adams put it, taking “actions [that] inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.”

In this blog, I have often referred to the common good. The common good is only good because it requires people to enter into that common place of dreaming, learning, doing, and becoming.

Here at Middle Georgia State, contributing to the common good is part of our mission. We see and encourage examples of leadership in building the common good among our faculty, staff, and students.

This year, our Division of Student Affairs is hosting our first-ever Student Leadership Conference. Entitled “Building for the Future” the conference will take place next Friday, February 10 at the Teacher Education Building on our Macon Campus from 9am to 3:30pm.

Students, including at least one representative from each of our more than 60 student organizations, will hear from presenters in the areas of Leadership Development, Diversity, and Career Readiness. If you are a student interested in honing your leadership skills or know of a student with leadership potential, online registration for the conference is open until Friday, February 3.

As our students learn more about leadership, we are also preparing to acknowledge faculty leaders for excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Teaching, and Service. Nomination letters for the 2017 faculty awards are due February 3, with supporting documentation due February 10 to Dr. Marina Spears, Chair of the Faculty Recognition Committee.

These opportunities to build and acknowledge leadership on campus speak to an observation on leadership particularly relevant to a university. John F. Kennedy once remarked that, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

For those of us in positions of authority, this is a call to remain humble and teachable. For students, it is a reminder that no matter your current station in life, as you learn you have the opportunity to lead.