Though the link to our full, hour-long conversation is below, I want to highlight a few of the key moments Bob and I shared. We spoke about his book, and the power and potential of bold, inclusive leadership that centers our shared humanity. Bob underscored the importance of optimism in leadership, and the critical necessity of treating one another with dignity and respect, particularly when contempt and negativity can be such a frequent presence.
Bob and I also engaged in dialogue about Ithaca Forever, the college’s strategic plan, speaking at length about change, and how our response to change has to be about more than simply trying to hang on. Organizations and individuals must make intentional efforts to evolve with a rapidly changing world or—better yet—evolve ahead of it. We must recognize the inevitability of change and see it as an opportunity for transformative action within the context of respecting the past—not revering it—particularly at places with such rich histories as Ithaca College and Disney. Disruption can cause real anxiety, and the challenge we all face, as Bob shared, is to channel that anxiety in a way that preserves our ability to be successful in entirely different circumstances than the ones we have known.
As a 1973 graduate of the Park School, Bob spoke fondly of his time at IC, how the synergy between the liberal arts and his professional TVR program created an important atmosphere and foundation that contributed to his success. He talked, too, about the synergy of the social and the educational moments provided at Ithaca College, saying that, as we look ahead to the future, we must preserve the integrity of Ithaca College as a place that feels like home for our students.
It was truly an honor to spend time in dialogue with such an incredible leader and such an incredible human being. I hope you enjoy listening to our lively and inspiring conversation.