Sailing into 2014: Capitalizing on Given Opportunities

We wanted to take this issue of Street Lights and surface a metaphor that recently appeared in the New Yorker magazine. It captures Leadership Foundations hopes as it embarks upon a new year.


The article, titled “Two Ships” and written by Adam Gopnik, reflects on the comparison and contrast between two boats that set sail in 1914: the Titanic and the Olympic. The first is indelibly etched in our collective memory with the chronicling of its doomed adventure through books and movies (and of course it does not hurt that the film starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet), while the latter carries little recollection because it made it to its New York destination safe and sound. Interestingly, both were made at the same time, by the same people, to do the same job, in the same way, but remembered very differently.


Gopnik uses the “two ships” as a metaphor where he asks the question in light of opportunities before us: Why is it that our imaginations of disaster are dangerously more fertile (Titanic) than our imaginations of the ordinary (Olympic)? He goes on to state the following: “Two boats set sail in those prewar years a century ago: the boat that sailed on and the boat that sank. Olympic or Titanic? Which is ours?”


Because of the extraordinary work of 2013 where LLFs were developed, strengthened, and sustained, strategies ranging from cause-marketing to public sector were set in place, the budget we set out to raise was achieved, projects we put our hands to were accomplished- LF sees itself as “Olympic-like” in 2014. LF is that ship where navigation comes as a result of our deep sense of God’s faithful, grace flowing presence where all is possible as we sail forth to achieve our mission. As such, the theme for LF as it sails into 2014 is “Capitalizing on Given Opportunities.


The following is a brief snapshot of some of these opportunities that you will hear about over the next few months as we seek to develop, strengthen, and sustain local leadership foundations for the social and spiritual renewal of cities around the world:

  • LF Book: We are in the final stages of finishing a book on the history of LF called, “Cities: Playgrounds or Battlegrounds—Leadership Foundations’ Fifty-Year Journey of Social and Spiritual Renewal”. We look forward to sharing more with you about this exciting moment in LF’s development.
  • LF Podcast: Using the theme of city as playground, LF is developing a monthly podcast that will reflect on the some of the big ideas associated with seeing the city as a playground and then highlight how this is being operationalized by LLFs and our partners throughout the world. We will keep you posted as to how you can access this new development.
  • LF Website: In April you can expect to see a newly designed LF Website that will be more accessible for all connected to the LF organization. Stay tuned.
  • Basketball Hall of Fame-Communities in Schools-LF Cause Marketing Partnership: LF has entered into a partnership with the Basketball Hall of Fame and Communities in Schools around mentoring young people. There was a soft launch of the partnership today at NBA All-Star weekend.  We are on the frontend of this exciting development where the talents and capacities of each organization will be used to help young people succeed in life. We anticipate the formal announcement of this partnership in April at the NCAA Final Four weekend. We will be keeping you abreast of all development as we move forward.

As always, thank you for your care, concern, and commitment to LF. You are part of the reason that we are able to sail into 2014 with a deep sense that our future is one of the “Olympic” rather than the “Titantic.”

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