Tanzania + New York Times + Catching Up

April 13, 2015
learning through leading

learning through leading

Mambo!  I am back from Tanzania and well into the IDEA Center’s first elective, design and fabrication.  Re-entry is always hard, but two recent NYT articles headed me back to the blog to think about leadership and the ‘moral bucket list’.

Duff MacDonald’s article, Can You Learn to Lead?  is a quick digest of the teaching industry of leadership in academia. He frames the debate well, and as the 9th graders who just traveled to China and Tanzania grapple with their journals to find a thread of a moment to develop a TED talk, I agree with Dr. Khurana who claims that leadership is a “personal journey” with a high bar for integrity.

“Is leadership an emergent quality, both situational and context-specific?Or is it something you can actually teach?”


As Moon and Noah taught microscope skills,  they were mimicing what science department chair Peter Southam had taught them, and using their own agencies to share the skill. I think that if they had read a case study about leadership versus being in the  leading moment, the outcomes would be very different.

If you follow social media streams, you have run across The New York Times op-ed The Moral Bucket List from David Brooks.  If you have  not read it, click the link and give it a read. His list is great — one worthy of printing out and pinning somewhere you look every now and then just to check on yourself.

What lingers in my mind is his idea of the stumbler–the one who is experiencing something that is not quite in the wheelhouse, but is emerging to be powerfully transformational and enriching a moment –perhaps a life. And here, meet Rita. She is pictured below with her Tumaini host, Tunu, planting trees at the site for the secondary school. Rita had never planted a tree before, but took in the moment and made the “conscience leap.”

“The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be.”

"the stumbler"


I hope you take some time to read both articles as you enjoy the spring sun.

Thoughts welcome.



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