Art Malloy talks leadership with a purpose
As part of the 18:83 Speaker Series, Vice President of Student Affairs Art Malloy shared his vision for purposeful leadership
“Last week, President Armacost talked to you about ‘the path,’ and I believe that everyone has their own unique path. But today, I want to talk with you about purposeful leadership,” Vice President of Student Affairs Art Malloy said as he stood in the spotlight at the foot of Memorial Union’s Social Steps.
Malloy’s ideal for purposeful leadership is one of personal vocation, community and legacy. He outlined his framework for leadership composed of the “three I’s”: inquiry, inspiration and impact.
“It starts with curiosity,” Malloy said. “What happens when you get curious? It is followed by the passionate pursuit of your values.”
In what followed, Malloy walked the audience through a collage of historical figures who fit within the framework of purposeful leadership. World leaders as diverse as Sitting Bull and Mary McLeod Bethune all started with curiosity and a question, said Malloy. And their pursuit for an answer led to movements that would change the country.
In his talk, Malloy encouraged future leaders in the audience to follow this example: “My hope is that, for students, you will not be afraid to do something because no one has ever done it. That you will constantly ask the question, ‘Why?’”
Malloy continued his talk by illustrating a century-spanning legacy of purposeful leaders’ nation-defining impacts. He described how abolitionist figures William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Tubman and Phillip Randolph inspired one another as they led, eventually influencing Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Lloyd K. Garrison.
This lineage of leadership was the through line of Malloy’s talk. He pointed to leaders inspiring leaders and bestowing future generations with the knowledge and structure necessary for meaningful change.
“Purposeful leadership is going to be inspirational: when you start to act on your values, you’re going to inspire others. Not only will you inspire them repeatedly, you may also inspire them through generations,” Malloy emphasized. “It has an impact. Because I don’t know that Martin Luther King would have done the things that he did had it not been for William Lloyd.”
Malloy also shared his personal experience with three leaders who inspired him, each leaving an impression through their acts of service, humility, and vision for a better future.
Among them was Manning Marable, an educator, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” and a personal mentor to Malloy. Malloy recalled being inspired by Marable while working as a teaching assistant for him at Columbia University.
“He believed that collectively, all the problems of the world could be solved with an education, all the problems of the world could be solved on a college campus.”
“He believed it, and I believe it,” Malloy said.
The quote is a reminder that universities are bastions for the kind of curiosity that creates and inspires the leaders Malloy referred to in his 18-minute and 83-second speech. Moreover, he harkened back to Malloy’s call to action to urge UND’s community to continue asking questions and embracing leadership.
“I want to make sure that you understand that at UND, whether you are students, faculty, or staff, you can lead your own way, each and every one of you. And when the mantle of leadership is passed to you, you will be ready. And I hope that when the mantle has passed, that you will receive it.”
The 18:83 Speaker Series will continue on Wednesday, Sept. 13, with Col. Tim Curry. The former commander of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base is set to speak at the Social Stairs of the Memorial Union.