Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement Emergent Sage Leadership: Interview of Cristine Kelly

Emergent Sage Leadership: Interview of Cristine Kelly

21 min read

20. As you look back over your life what would you do differently?

I don’t think there is much I would do differently, although I sometimes wonder whether foregoing graduate school will affect my career opportunities in non-profit management.  Perhaps this is where my will can make up the difference!

21.  The three characteristics most often associated with sage leadership are unusual experience, sound judgment, and wisdom. What does having wisdom mean to you?

Reinhold Niebuhr said it best: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. He was a wise man. For me, wisdom embodies a wide variety of characteristics open- mindedness, patience, receptivity, clarity of thought, creativity and adaptability.  Wisdom grants me the capacity to look squarely at a situation, respect the diverse perspectives of its participants, and hopefully offer a direction for positive change.

22. You probably know other individuals who have emerging sage leadership talents and skills but are not currently involved in the public life of our community. Why do you believe they choose to be uninvolved? What might be done to encourage their involvement?

People give where and when they can. Many young people here are concentrating on raising their families, and family takes precedence. Often times they may be working in smaller microcosms and not be seen as heavily involved in civic life.  For example, lots of people donate time and efforts to their children’s schools. It’s important to recognize that many people are contributing to their communities by raising good, healthy families.

I’ve been looking at the age group between 18 and 24, and wondering how to engage them. We’re not really teaching them that path or giving them tools, and we need to find a way for them to be engaged. Young people don’t feel they have anything to give, or don’t know how to give it if they do. Engaging them with their preferred mediums for connecting could be a good start, such as designing more interactive web platforms and utilizing social networking to build momentum.

23. One final question: It is often said that the quality of life in our community is highly attractive and unusual. Do you believe this to be true? (If yes): What  are the three or four things about our community that you most value and make you want to continue living here?

Yes, this is an exceptional community. I love the openness to experimentation.  There’s also a strong tie to the environment and a strong desire to care for it – a real love for the physical beauty of this place. The arts and culture for such a small community are phenomenal, and my daughter has been a recipient of some fine music education and opportunities here. There’s also a desire to tend to our youth and children – a strong sense of “it takes a village…”  It’s a great place to raise children, but I worry that it’s a little homogenous. Overall, it’s a really healthy environment.

24.  Is there anything else you’d like to say or ask as we close?

No, I think we’ve covered plenty!

Many thanks for your time and insights. This has been a great interview!

Issue One: The Investigation of Theory S

Setting the Stage for Theory S: I. Demography

Setting the Stage for Theory S: II. The Social and Cultural Characteristics of Generational Age Groups

Setting the Stage for Theory S: III. From Aging to Saging

Setting the Stage for Theory S: IV. The Rise of Civic Engagement

Senior Sage Leadership: Interview of Norman Westmore

Sage Leadership Project: Vision, Purposes and Methodology


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