Modesty in Leadership

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Let me set this up for you…I’m going to give you two recent comments from posters on a couple of other local blogs, and then I’ll share some commentary…

1. from The Conservative Alternative: 11/28/07, in discussing the tragic death of Washington Redskins player Sean Taylor:

…Instead of the Jesse Jackson’s and Al Sharpton’s they need more Black men willing to speak up and state the cold hard facts no matter how much the cold hard facts hurt. Greensboro has its own in E.C.Huey thank goodness because if ever a city needed the truth it is Greensboro. (Brenda Bowers)

2. from the News & Record’s Allen Johnson’s”Thinking Out Loud” blog, 1/4/08, in discussing Sen. Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa:

Obama will be a great role model for African Americans. We NEED these type of leaders in our politics. In local politics I would say that Erik Huey is another great example for African Americans. Why dont you do some sort of report on Erik, Allen? His blog is absolutely outstanding. If you want to know anything about education both local and nationally its rapidly becoming “the” place to go. (David James)


One thing you will learn from me is that I’m a modest fellow. I’m not one to really seek the limelight. And despite my affinity for politics, if you were to ask me, say, two years ago or three years ago if I would run for public office (school board, nonetheless), I would have told you “you’re nuts.” But after spending a good deal of time inside our schools and developing a list of what needs to be changed, no longer could I sit on the sidelines.

So for the past 13 months, I have attempted to share my opinions, my commentary, my analysis, my most interesting thoughts with you, my friends, supporters, voters and visitors. And at least one or two of you is interested in what I’m going to say next. It certainly has helped with name recognition.

And while I’m flattered with the comments above and I’m heartened that some around the county think I could be the next up-and-coming black leader in Guilford County…well, here’s where the modesty part comes in.

I never thought of myself as a “leader” in that context…and I guess I really don’t want to. I’ll explain…in my opinion, we all have the innate ability to be leaders. In our homes, in our communities, in our county, in our state, in our country, in our schools and workplaces and churches…we all can be leaders. When you read to your child at night, you’re a leader. When you volunteer at Christmastime at a homeless shelter, you’re a leader. When you participate in a PTA meeting, you’re a leader.

While it’s okay to look up to one specific person, I’d much rather look up to a group of people and make them inclusive. Because we all have the ability to be leaders.

I’m not sure if that made sense, but I hope it did.

So if by some fluke that I actually win the election, you will probably see me very surprised, yet ready to get started, because I am ready to start putting Guilford County’s children first. I’m not agenda-driven, I’m not seeking a power-trip, I don’t even plan on seeking any higher office other than this one (this will probably be the extent of my political career).

Putting children first is not a buzzword, it will be a way of life in how I will sit on this Board. And I so look forward to taking that oath and begin serving our children.

E.C. 🙂