Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Media and Global Connections

BOND: As a society, how can we be sure we have the most effective leaders in the future?

DOVE: One of the things that's changed radically in my lifetime is media and how invasive media has become and absolutely ubiquitous in our lives, so that now every school child can kind of Twitter to somebody else — this is what I'm doing now, so that means a leader now regardless of how intelligent they are, how strategically savvy they are, also has to be able to present well in the media. It used to be that you could do a speech or two, but you did not have to project warmth through the television screen or online and now a leader has to do that in order to place and that's a radically different thing. That's not the most important thing obviously for any aspect of leadership and yet it has become something that has to be factored in. And also a leader must know, must have a sense of the global breadth of all of our lives. We have become an exceedingly global society and to know that if you touch a string there, it might reverberate way over there and if you make a decision about, let's say, forestation or something in Mexico, it'll affect the monarch butterfly's breeding habits, so everything connects and I think and I hope that leaders will realize that you cannot just be a specialist in one narrow area, that you must learn something about aspects widely different from yourself because it will be affected.

BOND: Rita Dove, thank you for connecting with us.

DOVE: Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

BOND: My pleasure.