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Malcolm Gladwell
A quarter-century of nurturing Baltimore's leaders
A quarter-century of nurturing Baltimore's leaders

Jan Houbolt may be the most influential Baltimorean you've never heard of. As head of the Greater Baltimore Committee's Leadership Program since 1989, he has helped groom some of the state's up-and-coming leaders through a 10-month-long series of site visits and conversations that help them examine the city in all its complexity. Mr. Houbolt will retire in December, so this year's class, his 25th, will be his last. I talked to him about why a white sociology major from a historically black university took a job with Baltimore's business elite — and some of what he saw along the way. Q: Where did you grow up? A: All over: New York, Taiwan, Arlington, Va.,...