Unification News for

March 1998


What Is A True Leader? 22nd Oratorical Contest at UTS

by Gareth Davies-Barrytown, NY

For the third straight year, and for the fourth time in five years, it was an African student who held the trophy at the conclusion of the Annual David S.C. Kim Oratorical Contest at UTS.

Adin Kachisi of Zimbabwe beat off the strong challenges of Bismarck Banfo of Ghana and Martin Herbst of Denmark by offering a powerful and thoughtful answer to the contest’s question "What does it mean to be a true leader?" While presenting a report on the opinion of the judges, Dr. Kathy Winings used Adin’s description of the true leader as a risk taker as she congratulated all of the eight finalists and the 15 total contestants for the courage they showed in entering the contest. Dr. Winings, as winner of the 1987 contest, was speaking from personal experience.

Adin, who only arrived at UTS in January, was one of several contestants who argued that we are facing a crisis of leadership. "What do people look for in a leader?" he asked. "Appearance, charisma, eloquence, influence, persuasiveness. But what is a true leader? This is someone who can influence others by their integrity, their attitude and their determination." He then discussed each of these three qualities in turn. Integrity, he said, does not mean perfection but a commitment to the truth and an honest acknowledgment of mistakes. Thus, he said, "the true leader has nothing to hide." As for attitude, Adin said that this is what determines whether we see the glass as half empty or half full and this, he said with a dramatic flourish, "is what separates Mother Theresa from Al Capone!" The true leader, he said, always assumes a positive attitude and sees opportunity in crisis.

The last of Adin’s three qualities of the true leader is determination and this, he said, is what allows the true leader to be a risk-taker. "When Reverend Moon met Kim Il Sung in North Korea," said Adin, "he told him his ideology was wrong! He took a risk!" In one of the evening’s more dramatic moments, Adin then raised up a sign from the Seminary’s cleaning supplies which read "Caution: Safety First!" and cast it to the floor shouting "No! Forget it! Avoiding risks is OK for donkeys and pigs but not for people! When you stop taking risks you die."

The panel of judges viewed Adin’s presentation as the one which best fulfilled the criteria by which they were asked to judge each finalist; content, organization, delivery and persuasion. Dr. Winings thanked all of those who entered for continuing the tradition of oratorical contests which has now continued unbroken for 22 years, making it the oldest of the Seminary’s contests. President Shimmyo awarded prizes to the first three contestants.

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