Golden Key Spotlight: Issa Kabeer

by Laurel Carpenter & Charles Herold

Laurel Carpenter founded Pearl Consulting NYC, a digital marketing and social media agency. She has an MS from Columbia University and worked as a Director of Learning and Development before transitioning into content creation. Follow her on Facebook at @pearlconsultingnyc.
Charles Herold is a journalist and co-founder of Pearl Consulting NYC. He has written for USA Weekend, Time Digital, and About.com/Lifewire.com. For eight years he was the videogame critic for the New York Times. Follow him on Twitter at @nyc_pearl.

Issa Kabeer is on a hero’s journey.  A graduate student in Diversity Leadership at Temple University, he used to shy away from campus activities before joining Golden Key. Now, Issa sparks the flame within us to become greater versions of ourselves.  As co-president of his local Golden Key chapter and a member of the school’s student parliament, he motivates his fellow students to participate in AIDS walks and literacy programs.  When Issa’s on your team, everyone wins.

Issa dreams of becoming a U.S. ambassador and is inspired by the historic peace-making efforts of the Camp David Accords.  He took time out from GK’s Asia-Pacific leadership summit in Australia to share three surprisingly powerful ways to lead:

Listen and Connect.  

As a chaplain and campus leader, Issa is often the peacemaker.  He says, “Conflicts happen because people don’t listen to each other. Leadership is not focused on being better than someone, but on being present with someone.”  

By listening to what people say, asking questions, and caring about their opinions, you become their champion.  The results are worth the journey!

Flesh out the details.

Working on legislation in the student government taught Issa to target the specifics. His fellow leaders liked his proposal for suggestion boxes where students could share their ideas for change on campus, but they needed the nitty-gritty details. “They want to know where we can put these boxes, who’s going to make them,” he explained. 

An idea is good, but coming up with a step-by-step plan to implement it is the key!

Follow your hero’s journey.

Issa lights up when he shares his excitement about being an ambassador for Golden Key. Through travel grants from GK he has connected with a global family of friends at GK’s leadership summits.  Issa loves to talk about Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey and how it applies to everyone from college students to Harry Potter.  “It’s worth it to go out of your comfort zone. Because that’s the only way you’re going to succeed and make it.”

Take risks.  Go out of your way to meet people who aren’t like yourself.  Challenge yourself to go on your own hero’s journey!

About Golden Key

Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements. As an international honor society with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world, Golden Key is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity.

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