An authentic leader, scholar and teacher: the man--Dr. Harold Isaacs.

Author:Coker-Kolo, Doyin
Position:Tributes From 2015 Conference - In memoriam

Leadership is not magnetic personality; that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people," that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations (, 2015, p1)

The above quote from Peter Drucker, one of the most influential authors and thinkers on the subject of management theory and practice, describes in part the attributes of Harold Isaacs as a leader. You cannot describe him as charismatic, even though he had his way of making people do what needed to be done for a just cause. He was not an orator, but still communicated effectively as evident in his over five decades' tenure as a teacher. Harold was truly a leader with a servant's heart, but a huge vision. When he founded the Association of Third World Studies in 1983 from a humble beginning as a monthly seminar in a classroom on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia, he knew that he was planting the seed for something bigger and very impactful. He grew the seminar into a global organization based on the simple idea of bringing together scholars from different disciplines and regions of the world with practitioners from different walks of life to examine the multidimensional issues in developing countries. As a scholar of Latin American Studies himself, he wanted to build an association of likeminded, non-provincial scholars who would conduct rigorous and balanced research that would focus on the regions of the worlds that are not adequately researched. Additionally, he wanted to help scholars from those regions be able to write their own narratives. At a ceremony dedicating a facility to him at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) University, he reflected on the journey to build the association and the pride he had in it. Harold stated "Without a struggle there is no progress ... so we went on and built a great world-wide professional organization with a superlative peer-reviewed journal, and it all began with one seminar, which we continue today on campus ... I just want you to know how much this means to me, ... I'm proud of that ... I love you all." (Georgia Southwestern State University, 2014, p.3).

The above statement captured the essence of Harold as a man and the impetus for the Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) that he founded. It was...

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