Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Leadership: Vision, Philosophy, and Style

BOND: Okay. Let me ask you a philosophical question. Do you see a difference, as you go about your business, between your vision, your philosophy and your style? Are these different things? Is there an interaction between the three of these — vision, philosophy and style? What’s your vision?

RANGEL: Vision is to make certain that when God calls me I will be able to say to her, "I did the best I could."

BOND: Okay. And what about your philosophy?

RANGEL: My philosophy is that with all of the different religions that we have in the world that are so complex so that people are prepared to die in what they believe, that I should be able to find something that I can negotiate through all of this so it doesn’t matter who’s taking the tickets up there, that I’m going to be all right, so I decided on Matthew where Jesus tells all of these people how they personally mistreated him when he was hungry and thirsty and in the hospital and jail and that they didn’t help him. And he told them that it wasn’t how they treated him, but they can go straight to hell because they didn’t treat the lesser of his brothers and sisters. And I have found that philosophically, since I really like to be treated well in life that if you can give someone a shot of respect, mutual respect, and to treat them well, then philosophically, it really truly works or at least it works for me.

BOND: And your style? What’s your style?

RANGEL: Just try to be nice to people and really, I have been told that so many people have said unkind things for me and I just can’t believe it, so not believing it makes it a lot easier to handle because too many people dislike people who dislike them and then that builds, but if you’re nice to people and they misunderstand it, it’s okay. You just got to keep moving along.