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  • LEAD360 Mag

Who's Next?

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

One of my biggest regrets is not taking a selfie with John Lewis as we spoke at Union Station in Washington D.C. during the summer of 2017. During that conversation, I was taken by the amount of time and interest that the civil rights icon took with me during our “drive by” conversation. I felt as if I were as important as President Barack Obama when we spoke.

While I prepare to honor the legacy of that last living speaker at the historic March on Washington, I cannot help but to wonder “Who’s Next?” More specifically, “who will carry the mantel through this new storm of hatred?"

“Who will carry the mantel through this new storm of hatred?”

We currently have a rich movement of emotion and symbolism. But what is also need is a precise plan with goals and measurements; someone to communicate clearly and concisely; someone who understands our history but not mired with stories of days gone by. Someone who is not primarily distracted by ego, brand, or prosperity. But a leader (or group of leaders) of the high-tech generation who has a clear a vision of where we go from here – and how to get there.

As experienced leaders, we have a great opportunity to identify, develop and support our next-gen leaders. While resisting the tendency to discount those who are not on your leadership level. I find that I learn more about leadership through mentoring and person than any Ivy Lead executive certificate program.

So, as you celebrate the lives of our legends John Lewis and C.T. Vivian (’06), think hard about how you help define "Who's Next" And if you are the leader that this note is meant to inspire, boldly step up knowing that we are here.

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Eric Wynstin Walton, CEO, LEAD360 

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