Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Leadership: Vision, Philosophy, and Style

BOND: What do you see as the difference between vision, philosophy and style? Do these — how do these interact for you? Vision, philosophy, style.

IFILL: Style can exist without vision or philosophy. You can be all style with nothing else. And we can name names, but why do that? There’re a lot of people who are very stylish. Stylishness can help, however. It can help you if you can get — if you have a philosophy that you want to get across. It helps to be accessible. Television is still a medium in which you really want to connect with the people you’re talking to. You want to break through the screen and speak to them. Otherwise, if you’re boring or if you’re an otherwise — you’re just running on and you don’t have any panache, why should anyone listen? So those two things.

Vision is the most important part of all of it, because a lot of people have philosophies but they have no vision. Their philosophy is a point of view they had settled on and it doesn’t matter what anybody says — that’s their philosophy and they’re sticking with it. But if you have a vision which to me means that you are trying to accomplish something, there’s a curve — there’s something at the end of that rainbow for you, then your philosophy can drive that and the style can achieve it, but you have to have the vision first. To me, that’s the most important.