Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Think globally

BOND: What kinds of leaders does contemporary society demand? How will future problems demand different leadership styles?

WILLIAMS: Well, I think the no. 1 overriding thing and this, of course, is based on my own personal experience—leaders in the future will have to be global in their perspective. We're too inter - connected now. What happens in China, in Russia, in South Africa, in El Salvador, have a bearing on what goes on in the United States so I think leaders to be effective in the future will have to be global in their perspective.

BOND: Now, clearly your career shows that you are global and you've exercised opportunities to become a global person, but many people don't. How can you foster this?

WILLIAMS: I think, first of all, you need to start at a very early age and one of the things that I learned early on in my career in the Foreign Service is that if you look at the Nordic countries, the Scandinavian countries, they start teaching about the rest of the world very early in their primary schools, through what's so - called development education, so young Swedes, Norwegians, grow up knowing about Africa, Asia. They probably work on projects with those countries. They send money there. They do fundraising, etcetera. We need to do more in our society to inculcate and to make our communities aware of the outside world and then we need to build people - to - people relationships. We need to engage our civil societies from Africa, Asia, Latin America with the United States in broad ways and that can be faith based. It can be through government programs. It can be through non - governmental programs. We need to build up this rapport and knowledge of each other worldwide.