Wednesday past, I had the great pleasure of attending a lecture in the African Studies Department at UW led by guest speak John L. Hirsch. You can read my lecture preview here.
After the lecture, I collected notes in a series of tweets. Here they are, with expanded explanations:
Hirsch: 20 years is a blip in historical terms. How far ahead are you willing to lead?
Expanded thought: How far ahead is your institutional cycle incentivized to lead? (Presidents in the United States are strongly motivated toward four-year outlooks, for example.) How much of your day to day business connects with the long view (20 years)? How can an organization's leadership bridge this gap?
Many times, long-term success is a corollary of an organization's willingness to be honest over time about the organization's objectives.
Hirsch: Africa is historic, rich in culture, yet with institutions younger than many
students @ UW. Progress will require patience and perspective.
Expanded: Calling himself something between a realist and an optimist with respect to Africa, Hirsch seeks to remind those outside of Africa that democracies in Africa are adolescent, just beginning and with much promise. The age of democracy, of course, does to capture the legacy of the people, which is ancient, rich, and sophisticated.
John L. Hirsch: Americans have this tendency to believe that all problems are solvable at all
times; thus to not have solved is failure. Both thoughts are not true. Here, Hirsch cited Charles de Gaulle in the biography by Jonathan Fenby.
Expanded thought: This thought could be expanded at length to great benefit. I see a separate blog post coming. How do you see this tendency at work - or not - and what are the implications of its practice?