Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Fostering Future Leadership

BOND: Look into the future a bit. What kind of leaders are we going to have to have tomorrow, the day after, next year, five years from now? Are we going to have to have a different kind of leadership personality?

WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so, because I think that just the whatever generation we're in — we're beyond X now, right? Whatever generation we're in, I mean, the way they get — how they do things, how they think of things, where they get their information, is really dramatically different from how we get it. So I think the things you've been talking about in terms of style and substance are changing so much, you're going to get a different leader, whether it's a leader who, out of their own character development comes upon the scene and molds it, or a movement that creates it, or some confluence. But there's going to be a different type of leader. I do believe that, yeah.

BOND: Now —

WILLIAMS: More able and more facile and more adept than the leaders you're seeing today, including yours truly.

BOND: Now, as a society, how can we foster more effective leaders in the future? How can we make it possible for there to be the kinds of leaders you're talking about?

WILLIAMS: Well, I think from a community's point of view, I think that modern technology has gotten to the point where we have to start — I talk about the kind of greater — this kind of greater role of the civic leader to organize all the people in your community wherever you are in the country, who are the thousand, two thousand, three thousand, however many cases there are of children in your community, and really start focusing your government on managing these cases as real life individuals, seeing that they're successful in their voyage through life toward adulthood. Unless my agency does this, and my agency does this and I do that, nobody cares about that. It's what is actually happening with the results of these kids. And I would readily say in my situation here, we've just started scratching the surface of it. I mean, there's a huge amount to do. The next leader's going to be able to combine good management ability with the ability to talk to people as individuals about individuals about real human problems.

BOND: Mayor Williams, thank you for being with us.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. It's a pleasure.