LEDA Leadership Conversation: Gordon Chambers


This week, LEDA welcomed Gordon Chambers as our guest for a Black History Month session of our Leadership Conversation series. LEDA Scholars, Career Fellows, and alumni learned about his remarkable experiences as an editor at Essence magazine, an award-winning songwriter, and a renowned solo artist. Our audience also had the opportunity to ask questions and benefit from his wisdom on a variety of topics.

Gordon Chambers at LEDA Leadership Conversation
LEDA Executive Director Lamont Gordon and Leadership Conversation guest Gordon Chambers

On advice for his 18-year-old self: “I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life, but I think I would have told myself to take even more even earlier.”

On reaching high: “Trust your instinct, trust your gut. Walk into any room believing in yourself.”

On failure: “There’s no such thing as failure. There’s life lessons. There’s what you learned from that experience. Sometimes, that realization doesn’t come until much later.”

On success: “When you get to a point in your life when your dreams have come true, and you take joy in empowering others, there is no greater feeling. Leadership is about empowering others.

Gordon Chambers

On the power of music: “People feel something in music that cuts across race, gender, every ‘barrier.’ The heart and soul [of music/musicians] reaches across to the heart and soul [of the audience]. That experience is humbling.”

On the role of music in Black history: “Black music has its roots in slavery, in resisting slavery. Every genre of music developed in this country has its roots in Black music. Black history is American history.”

On leadership: “Leadership is authenticity, really being yourself. The world doesn’t need more cookie-cutter people. Your story, your hurdles, what you’re overcoming – that’s your power, and when you bring that into where you’re going, that’s when you shine.”

Many thanks to Gordon for sharing his insight and spirit with the LEDA Community!

Published February 26, 2021

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