Reflections on Leadership from Marietta’s McDonough Conference

Marietta College, Ohio. The J. Luce Foundation (link) is opening the Luce Leadership Centre at Caribbean Maritime University (link) in June, open to its 6,000 students in August. It will feature both on campus and online courses in experiential leadership through a Doctorate degree.

Marcus_Garvey_1924-08-051924: Jamaican-born political leader, publisher, journalist,
entrepreneur, and orator Marcus Garvey. Photo: Wiki Commons.

In the next year or two, we plan to open additional Luce Leadership Centres in Africa and Asia.

Many people have asked me, and my thoughts have crystalized at this Conference at the McDonough Leadership Center at Marietta College under the direction of Dr. Gama Perruci, What exactly is Young Global Leadership? (link)

Gandhi1930: Mahatma Gandhi on his “March to the Sea” to make salt
in defiance of the British Empire. Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

Leadership is leading towards a goal, and I would define Young Global Leadership as Uplifting Humanity: leading fellow humans towards the goal of Social Justice. In the Biblical words of the great Democratic leader Gov. Mario Cuomo, ‘a shining city on the hill.’

A world of law and order, a world of tolerance and peace, a world of diversity held together by our commonalities. A world where we protect our earth and each others’ dignity. Where healthcare, food, education, clean water, and Wi-Fi are universal human rights.

876px-Young_Mandela1937: 19-year old Nelson Mandela would spend 27 years in prison
as a revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist before
freeing South Africa from Apartheid. Photo: Wiki Commons.

A world where there may be Have’s and Have More’s, but no Have-Nots. A world where each child can grow to adulthood without fear of violence, in the presence of peace and love. Political leadership. Movement leadership. Spiritual Leadership.

As founder of this Leadership Centre, I have a confession: We cannot actually teach you how to be a great Leader.

Sukarno_giving_a_speech,_Bung_Karno_Penjambung_Lidah_Rakjat_2421948: The George Washington of Indonesia, Soekarno, freed his nation from
four centuries of Dutch and Japanese colonization, introducing national unity.
Photo: Wiki Commons.

The Centre will impart Leadership not an Art but as a Science. There is a science of painting – mathematical perspective, mixing chemicals and color pigments, etc. But we cannot teach you how to be the next Da Vinci or Michelangelo. That is an art that you must learn on your own.

How? Experience. Practice. Observation. Confidence. And Self-Knowledge.

Oscar_Romero_(al_centro)_y_Rutilio_Grande_(al_lado_derecho)_en_19791977: Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, gave his life to uplift the
poor, speaking out against e spoke out against social injustice, assassinations,
and torture as an adherent of Liberation Theology. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Yes, we can provide you with a stage upon which to practice your craft. We can provide you with experiential opportunities. We can introduce you to Toastmasters International (our club) for mastering effective communications and Lions Club International (our club) for learning about service and practicing organizing skills.

We can offer you the opportunity to participate in Luce Leadership Experiences (2019) where you will encounter group dynamics, new cultures and traditions, challenges with communications, etc. Opportunities where you can grow your mastery of Leadership.

Averaging 12 miles a day through the Himalayas, the Dalai Lama is shown journeying through the Karpo Pass, one of the highest on the flight route of the 23-year-old ruler from Lhasa. His flight began March 17, 1959. Here the escape party is seen on March 28, three days before reaching sanctuary in the free zone of India.
1959: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, then 23 years old, led his people out
of Tibet over the Himalayan mountains to India when they faced persecution.
Today, he speaks globally on the environment,
economics, women’s rights, violence,
interfaith dialogue, Buddhism and science, reproductive health, and sexuality.
A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, Time magazine named him one
of the “Children of Mahatma Gandhi.” Photo: Wiki Commons.

We can introduce you to the heroes we have raised the children of Orphans International Worldwide (link) with: Gandhi. King. Tutu. Mother Teresa. Rabin. Mandela. Romero. Garvey. Atatürk. Wiesel. FDR. Even Clare Boothe Luce. Indeed, we will have a library stocked with the works of and about such leaders.

600 copyOrphans International Worldwide advertisement, Nov. 2004.
Sadly, Aung San Suu Kyi has been removed from our pantheon of heroes.
Photo: Orphans International Worldwide/J. Luce Foundation.

We can give you the opportunity to feed the poor, bathe the sick, clean the environment – through our own programs or through recognizing other institutional efforts. Habitat for Humanity. International Rescue Committee. The Red Cross – or Crescent. There are so many wonderful organizations uplifting humanity.

Black American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968) addresses crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech.1964: Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have  Dream Speech” in Washington.
MLK was only 26 during the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott where he rose
to prominence. Photo: Wiki Commons.

We spent our first ten years with Orphans International Raising Young Global Leaders, then the next ten years with the J. Luce Foundation  Supporting Young Global Leaders. Now, through our Luce Leadership Centres, we will be Educating Young Global Leaders. But not so much in Leadership.

Your mom, dad or sibling never actually taught you how to ride a bike. They provided you the opportunity to learn how to ride the bicycle yourself.

Cheddi1953: At the age of 30, Cheddi Jagan was elected to the British Guiana Legislative
Council, the youngest member of the legislature. Young, handsome, brilliant and
he was later imprisoned by the British as he pushed for Independence of Guyana.
Photo: Wiki Commons.

My mom taught me about Civil Rights by her actions with the NAACP. My father taught me about Peace by his actions protesting the Vietnam War.

My mentors — Guyana’s founder Cheddi Jagan, activist and philanthropist Betty Millard, Bishop Paul Moore, philanthropist and patron of art Don Rubin, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary, to name a few – taught me about Resistance, Philanthropy, and Uplifting Humanity through Art.

Atatürk1923: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a revolutionary statesman, author, and founder
of the Republic of Turkey. Ideologically a secularist,
 Atatürk made primary
education free and compulsory, opening thousands of new schools all over the
country. Turkish women received equal civil and political rights during
Atatürk’s presidency ahead of many Western countries. Photo: Wiki Commons.

We can provide Experiential Leadership opportunities. We can provide Mentorship opportunities. We can provide Global Advisor seminars. We can provide experiential learning and classes.

But you must learn — not in a vacuum but through trial and error — how to be the best Leader you can be, with the specific skills that you were born with and have developed.

I can even be your mentor. Share with you my stories and experiences.

Tutu: Then and Now from Brian Rusch on Vimeo.

But I cannot be your teacher other than to teach by example. I am not a guru, I am just a guy. With stories. And a passion to uplift humanity.

And through our Leadership Centres we will help you all we can. We dedicate ourselves fully to this role.

Paul Moore1972: Episcopal Bishop Paul Moore was one of America’s foremost liberal
Christian activists, supporting the ordination of women and gays while
assailing racism, corporate avarice, and various U.S. military policies.

Because the world must achieve Social Justice. And Young Global Leaders are the next generation – perhaps with Climate Change the only generation – to be able to get us there.

The fate of Humanity and indeed the world rests with them. Lead us, Young Global Leaders, to Social Justice!

See Also

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About Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens

View all posts by Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce ( writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens. Bringing 26 years management experience within both investment banking and the non-profit sector, Jim has worked for Daiwa Bank, Merrill Lynch, a spin-off of Lazard Freres, and two not-for profit organizations and a foundation he founded. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (, he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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