What has been your most challenging obstacle you’ve had to overcome? Fear to vacate my comfort zone in my career to opt for risk. At first I didn't trust myself to dream and act upon my dream. I thought my skills were inapt. But now I realize risk-takers like everyone fear to start but they gather the gumption to start and don't fret to fail. When you courageously start, the universe provides helpers and you should trust in yourself so the helpers can gain confidence as they help you.
What was your driving force behind Global Soap Project? I spent ten years perfecting my skills and talents before I went out to chase after my dream of building Global Soap. My skills and talents at the end of the day drove me into success. But at the end of the day the idea of hotels throwing away 800 million bars of soap in juxtaposition of the two million kids that die every year due to poor hygiene and sanitation were the reason I set off on this noble journey.
What does it take to be great at leader? The characteristics of a great leader are endless but a key one that I love comes from an acronym that I coiled a while ago called SELF. It stands for Service, Education, Leader and faith. Great leaders start with a sense of service. Then with a teutonic thoroughness educates him/herself on the issue they want to champion and then determine what sort leader they are and lastly develop a sense of faith and belief in something more noble then they are to aspire for a legacy through their work. A leader who does have faith in themselves or others is a leader who dictates and develops authoritarian methods. Hence a great leader has a great sense of SELF.
Being named as the CEO of the Civil Human Rights Organization, what does that mean to you? It means that I did all the right things to get to this place of recognition. But it also means that I have to do the best I have ever done to get the world to understand the power of the Center in helping fend off the abuses of human and civil rights. I will be the champion of the CENTER as the CEO more than everyone else because its future is the future of the world.
Derreck Kayongo . CEO . Center of Civil & Human Rights Museum and Mavericks 2016 interviews former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center.
Photo Credits: Scott Reeves Photography