Name: Nathaniel Goodson, Jr.
Hometown: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Company: Bywood Community Association
Length of time you have been with you company: 4 years
Briefly describe your journey, noting both personal milestones and obstacles you may have faced along the way. My journey began in high school when I became interested in African American history. This led into a lifelong attempt to understand racism and its effects on society both black and white. Many of my obstacles have been too painful to talk about but all have been life changing.
How did you hear about LDC and why did you sign up to take part in it? As a councilman in Upper Darby, I was familiar with the work of the Foundation Delaware County and it’s connection to leadership Delaware County.
What inspires you? How does that inspiration play into your professional life? My Passion has always evolved around my desire to better the lives of my community. Whether that community is the faith community, the political community or my resident community, I have always strived to enrich the quality of life of those I come in contact with.
Briefly, describe a transformative moment that helped to shift your approach to your career. As the chairman of a newly formed grassroots organization I realized that building capacity is different from my pastoral and political approach to connecting people. In community organization I found that I had to adapt to the community instead of the community adapting to me. As a political and Faith leader I frequently had a ready-made audience, not so in community organizing.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most? Why? Martin King was and continues to be a leader I most admire. He processed the ability to reach people across racial, gender lines, and educational lines. In addition, his mesmerizing oratory had the capability of moving people to think about issues of race and social justice. I am also an admirer of David Brooks. Brooks is a moderate conservative writer for the New York times. He is the author of several books including the road to character and the second mountain. Both of which I have read. I admire Brooks for his leadership in positions like abortion (which he believes should be legalized). I am interested in the way he sees the world. In a Ted talk over the summer he shared how his bouts with loneliness caused him to review what and who was important in life. He dealt with some of those issues in the second mountain.
What has been the most valuable professional advice and/or lesson you’ve received?
My Grandmother taught me it is much more important to listen than to talk. She said be careful what you say “because no one knows how stupid you are until you open your mouth”
Photo by: Active Image Media