I’ve been lucky throughout my life to work with some of the most influential people and companies in the world. Yet I find myself continually returning to the place that makes me the happiest: the classroom. To name a few: developing and teaching original courses as a Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies as well as Economics at Williams College, or launching an MBA in Sustainable Business Studies at Bard College, and more recently, developing and teaching a “Leading in Crisis” seminar together with the Dean at Yale University.
Whether I’m reflecting on my roles as teacher, troop leader, board member, EMT or lawyer, I’ve learned this secret: the best ideas, the moments that light us up and inspire us, that compel us to be the best versions of ourselves, come from vigorous debate and collaboration involving every voice in the room. True leadership is the art of summoning others to stretch to reach their full potential. This is equally true from the classroom to the boardroom to the floor of the US House of Representatives.
The most vulnerable among us don’t need performative allies; they need curious collaborators, legislators who will do the hard work of using their hearts and minds to listen, strategize, and act decisively to enact policies that provide greater opportunity and concrete results for the hard working families who entrust them with the sacred task of governance.